Food Safety Law

Food Safety Law 1

‚ÄčThe laws on food hygiene changed in 2006, and now greater emphasis is put on the way in which risks to the safety of food are managed. Food businesses now have a clear legal duty to make sure that food served or sold to customers is safe to eat. A written food safety management plan and procedures, based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles, must now be put in place, implemented and maintained.

The main areas of food safety law that cover food businesses are:
  • The Food Safety Act 1990
  • The General Food Regulations 2004
  • The Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013
  • Regulation (EC) No 178/2002  (lays down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety)
  • Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 (regards the hygiene of foodstuffs)
  • Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 (laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin)
The above legislation makes it an offence for anyone to sell (or keep for sale) food that is unfit for people to eat or cause food to be dangerous to health, or sell food that isn't what the customer is entitled to expect. Failure to do this could lead to formal action being taken which could result in financial penalties, a poor food hygiene score and adverse publicity. If you are subject to a criminal prosecution, the penalties are high with heavy fines or prison:
  • Conviction in the magistrates' court is liable to a fine up to £5,000 per offence
  • Crown court conviction carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment and / or an unlimited fine
Food Safety Law 2 As food hygiene & safety law is complex and ever-changing, it is often difficult to know which Acts and Regulations apply to your business and how. As experienced Environmental Health professionals we are conversant in all aspects of Food Safety Law and are able to assist clients meeting the legal requirements which apply to them and where necessary provide Expert Evidence & Reports.