The Food Standards Agency has hailed the London Olympic and Paralympic Games as a “food safety success story” and claimed they have created a food safety legacy for the UK.
The agency said despite the huge volume of food served during the Games – an estimated 14 million meals – there were just 22 food safety incidents.
These included minor cases of food poisoning and food contamination, as well as a fire near the Olympic Park that could have ended up contaminating food, the FSA said in its most recent newsletter.
That number was far fewer than the agency had predicted. Its head of incidents, Colin Houston, stressed there were no major incidents at all
“There are no gold medals or podium finished for food safety, but the Olympics and Paralympics were a triumph for the UK,” he added.
Houston claimed the Games had gone well from a food safety perspective because the FSA had prepared well, training up staff, putting in place robust and effective emergency procedures and sufficient resources.
“The excellent working relationship established with enforcement officers and food industry representatives ensured that the risks to consumers, athletes and visitors to the Games events were kept to a minimum,” he added.
Other government departments and enforcement agencies will now learn from a food safety “template” for future large-scale events such as the Commonwealth Games, FSA head of enforcement Sarah Appleby said.
A full, formal report on food safety at the Games will be presented to the FSA board early next year.