One of the first tasks of the newly created Food Standards Agency will be to look into a national classification system for the risk assessment of food outlets. The FSA came into being on Monday April 3, under the leadership of Sir John Krebs. While nothing will change overnight, the agency is keen to consult industry on a number of issues. A spokesman said: "We want risk assessment to be more consistent. That will be a key aim. "We want consistency across the board and we will be looking for something to make that happen." Currently food outlets are visited on a frequency determined by the risk assessment of local authorities. The regularity can be anything from every six months to five years based on criteria including the size of the operation, what processes are used, the structure of the premises and its past record. A new scheme could see a national rating system dictating how often premises are inspected. The FSA's establishment puts to an end a long wait for an independent food body. Labour first floated the idea in 1990. It has been billed as "the most powerful quango in the land". {{NEWS }}