STARS student Heather Ruscoe has recently finished a 3-month placement at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in Westminster. The position was based within the Private Office (PO) team who assist both the Chief Executive and Chair of the board. The purpose of the placement was to help with general tasks of PO but mainly to work on the FSAs strategic systems project. The main tasks focused on horizon scanning activities, to identify risks to the global food system in relation to food safety and consumer interest. During her time at the FSA, Heather reviewed literature, attended workshops and interviewed directorates of the various FSA departments to build a risk picture that would be incorporated into a report. Additionally, a network analysis of factors influencing behaviours of the consumer, industry and government in relation to food was produced. Overall the experience proved to be beneficial and one which the student found highly rewarding. There are plans for Heather to return to the FSA in the near future, to present some of her work to the FSAs Science Council.