The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has appointed a new chief executive to replace outgoing leader Catherine Brown.
Jason Feeney stepped up from his role as chief operating officer on April 11.
He joined the FSA in January 2015 having worked in a variety of senior government roles since the 1980s, notably involving pensions and benefits.
One of Feeney’s main tasks will be to navigate the regulatory challenges of Britain leaving the European Union given that a majority of food safety regulation currently originates in Brussels.
Other current priorities for the FSA are campaigns to reduce levels of campylobacter in raw poultry and to raise awareness of the risks of the possible carcinogen acrylamide in over cooked foods such as potatoes and bread.
“We know Jason has a strong track record of delivering complex change across sectors, and that leadership expertise is what set him apart from a very strong field of industry and public sector applicants,” said FSA chairman, Heather Hancock.
“I very much look forward to working with Jason to address the implications and opportunities for food regulation as the UK leaves the European Union, and to deliver on our ambition to modernise regulation, all whilst maintaining the high level of public confidence in the work of the FSA.”