From Environmental Health News on 20th September:
‘English local authorities are seriously falling behind their devolved neighbours when it comes to resourcing food inspections. The latest LAEMS figures published this week reveals that each Environmental Health professional inspecting food establishments in England is responsible for 345 premises annually while in Wales the figure is nearly half that at 175. In Northern Ireland, the figure is 238 premises per EHP while in Scotland it is 204.’
At the same time, the Local Authority Enforcement Monitoring System is reporting complaints about food safety standards increasing dramatically with England seeing a 24% increase in complaints dealt with last year up from 58,717 to 72,847 and the numbers of food establishments operating in the UK increasing from 627,425 in 2015/15 to 634,584 in 2016/17.
The Head of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health said:
‘In the devolved nations, they have the opportunity to resource food safety the way they think appropriate the difference is significant and that does concern us particularly on rising number of food premises to be covered and rising numbers of premises not being inspected.’
This is not the only difference in the level and quality of public services between Scotland and England. I’ve already reported on the higher levels of staffing in general practice, in the NHS generally and in the police force. See: