Being part of Europe means that the UK is able to share key food safety data which helps keep UK residents safe. However the Local Government Association, which represents 370 local councils across England and Wales, have raised concerns about potential problems caused by leaving the European Union.
Part of the reason for their concern arises from the possibility of being excluded from accessing the extensive food safety databases and safety alerts.
Being a member of the EU, the UK forms part of framework of safety measures surrounding food, animal feed and animal products.
Take the horse meat scandal in 2013. It was only by sharing key information that the affected EU member countries were able to contain the problem and implement a rigorous monitoring and testing programme.
In addition to the shared databases, The UK receive alerts for things such as pesticides residue, mercury, salmonella and E coli which can quickly and easily spread to the UK.
The concern has been flagged by Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Brexit Taskforce
“The UK has painful, recent experience of the damage that is caused when food and feed are compromised.
“If we lose access to these databases, we will lose access to vital intelligence about the origin of food, feed and animal products, and won’t be aware when rapid alerts are issued to the rest of the continent.
“This will significantly weaken our ability to effectively protect the food system, increasing the risk of a new scandal and undermining public confidence in the food industry”
This is definitely something to keep a close eye on.