Orkney Islands (Core Audit) (Closed)
Monday 13 June 2005
2–4 February 2005 (with a follow-up audit on 31 January–1 February 2006, a follow up audit revist on 7–8 June 2006 and a second follow up audit revist on 26 September 2007)
Orkney Islands Council is a Scottish Unitary Local Authority that has responsibility for the enforcement of food hygiene, food standards and feeding stuffs law in the Orkney Islands, which are situated off the north coast of Scotland.
Orkney Islands' produce is distributed and sold throughout the world, and the production and export of shellfish, fishery products, and other agricultural produce is an important part of the Orkney Islands' economy.
There are approximately 320 businesses that are subject to food law enforcement and 460 businesses that are subject to feeding stuffs law enforcement in the Authority's area.
The Authority has Service Delivery Plans covering food and feeding stuffs law enforcement, although they do not include required detailed information about the Authority's food and feeding stuffs premises profiles or its planned inspection programmes.
The Authority has appointed authorised Officers and inspectors to enforce food and feeding stuffs law who also have responsibilities for enforcing a wide range of other environmental health and trading standards legislation. Officers are generally well trained and qualified, although training in HACCP principles, practice and assessment requires significant improvement.
Food hygiene and standards premises inspections are not being conducted at the required minimum frequencies, and there have been no recent inspections of feeding stuffs premises.
The licensing and inspection of butcher shops and the approval of establishments that are subject to product-specific food hygiene legislation are not being carried out in accordance with relevant legislation and procedures.
The Authority is not conducting any food safety (microbiological) sampling and does not have a food safety sampling programme.
The Authority was unable to provide the auditors with some information relating to its food and feeding stuffs law enforcement services that it was requested to provide prior to, and during, the audit.
A number of non-conformances that are identified in this audit report have been identified in the Authority's previous Food Standards Agency audit reports in 2002 and 2003. The Authority has not taken sufficient action in response to these previous audits to allow closure of the audit files.
Following the Agency's audit in February 2005 the Orkney Islands Council developed an action plan to address the non-conformities raised. As detailed within the action plan, the Authority reviewed and updated its documented policies and procedures that were in use at the time of the audit.
Copies of these updated documents were submitted to the Agency in July 2005. The Agency then took the decision to revisit the Authority after another 6 months to allow time for the new procedures to be fully implemented.
Subsequent to the review of these policies and procedures, a new Head of Service was appointed and the Authority took the decision to implement an ISO 9001 based Quality Management System. Implementation of this system began in November 2005 and is still in progress, managed by a Quality Manager.
This new system has only been in place for a short period of time. Although substantial work has been completed already, the system still requires significant further development and customisation to ensure it addresses the specific operational requirements of Orkney Islands Council. In view of the fact that the previous documented control system is no longer being supported, completion of the customisation and rollout of this new system must be a top priority for the Authority.
As this new system is not fully customised and operational at the present time the Agency cannot form a view as to whether it meets the requirements of the Framework Agreement.
The Agency notes the progress that has already been made with implementation of the action plan. In order to give further time for development and implementation of the Quality Management System the Agency intends to conduct a further follow-up audit at the end of May 2006.
At that time the Agency will be looking to see that:
- The Quality Management System has been fully customised, is in operation, and its operation is being monitored
- 2005/06 food law enforcement performance has been reviewed, documented and reported to Members in accordance with the Framework Agreement
- The food law enforcement Service Delivery Plan meets the requirements of the Service Planning Guidance in the Framework Agreement
- The food hygiene and food standards inspection programmes have been synchronised
- Any outstanding problems with the Authority's food law enforcement monitoring data have been resolved
The information below details the following:
- the original non conformity identified during the February 2005 audit
- the action the Authority intended to take to address the non conformity
- the date by which the non conformity was to be rectified
- the progress to date as notified by the Authority in January 2006
- the comments of the Agency Auditors following their follow up audit on 31 January and 1 February 2006
During the audit of February 2006 the Agency noted that progress had been made implementing the action plan, however, in order to give time for further development and implementation of the Quality Management System, the Agency arranged to conduct a follow-up audit revisit at the end of May 2006.
The follow-up audit revisit took place on 7–8 June 2006 and covered Orkney Islands Council’s food hygiene, food standards and feeding stuffs law enforcement activities, looking specifically at the actions taken to address the non-conformities raised during the February 2005 audit. The improvements planned and actions taken by the authority indicated that progress had been made, however there were still some areas of work that had yet to be completed.
The updated Action Plan from the June 2006 visit indicated that the Quality Management System that was in place was to be further customised and used. The second revisit of 26 September 2007 was to confirm that the Quality Management System had been appropriately customised, was being followed, was being regularly reviewed and was able to demonstrate that the previous audit non-conformances were satisfactorily addressed
The Food Standards Agency are now able to close all of the open reports for Orkney Islands Council from March 2002, November 2002, October 2003 and February 2005.