The Food Standards Agency has launched a crackdown on "unsafe" retail outlets near venues holding events at the London 2012 Olympics.

Food business operators in or close to the 30 or so venues mostly in London but some as far away as Newcastle would be subjected to extra checks in the run up to the Games, said FSA chief executive Tim Smith in its Annual Report of Incidents 2010.

Guaranteeing the safety of food supplied to millions of spectators from around the world was one of the biggest challenges the FSA had faced, he said, and it would work with local authorities to "ensure food in London and other venues is safe to eat".

It was "vital" local authorities and food businesses used its new online report form to notify it of any health and safety related incidents as this would enable the FSA to "act promptly to protect the public and the food industry, and increase consumer confidence in food safety", added Smith.

His comments came as new figures from the FSA showed the number of incidents it investigated in 2010 had risen by almost a quarter year on year to just over 1,500 almost treble the number of incidents in 2000.

The FSA said the jump was in part down to improved reporting as well as changes to the law determining which incidents merited ­investigation.

Controversially, Smith claimed the "emergence of new technologies based on novel foods and processes" was increasingly putting consumers at risk.

Other trends identified in the report included a significant increase in incidents surrounding the ­environmental contamination of food and a jump in natural chemical contamination, caused in the vast majority of cases by ­shellfish poisoning.

During 2010, the FSA probed three "high-level incidents": the detection of morpholine in fresh fruit wax coatings; the discovery of milk and meat from the offspring of cloned cattle in the food chain; and on-farm cattle identity fraud.