Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has not changed its policy on rare burgers. The steps that businesses are required to take to protect consumers should be through thorough cooking in accordance with current Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) guidance or through a combination of controls verified by a food business operator that will provide equivalent protection. This would mean that protective measures should not require consumer advice about additional risk as the food operator has a legal obligation to ensure the food is safe to eat. The current FSS view is that the use of consumer information about additional risk would represent a significant departure from current policy aimed at protecting consumers. FSS does not consider such a change in policy to be in the best interest of consumers in Scotland at this time.
The Scottish Food Enforcement Liaison Committee (SFELC) has set up a working group on ‘risky foods’ to develop a common approach to risk assessment of practices within food businesses that choose to prepare and serve foods in this category such as rare burgers. The Committee considers that development of guidance will help ensure that the enforcement approach is clear to businesses and consistent in its application.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board decision on rare burgers can be viewed here.