Food hygiene legislation
- The Food Safety Act 1990 (as amended), which prohibits the placing on the market of unsafe food and prohibits food being presented or labelled in such a way as to mislead the consumer. It also includes due diligence defence for offences.
- The General Food Regulations 2004 introduces requirements for traceability and for the recall of unsafe food. For further information see seafood traceability and labelling.
- The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 in England (and similar legislation in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) place obligations on all food businesses to make sure that their activities are carried out
On 31 December 2020 at the end of the UK-EU transition period, all directly applicable EU law in force became part of the body of domestic law in Great Britain (England and Wales, and Scotland). Under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the majority of EU food and feed hygiene and safety law (and any future amendments) continue to apply directly in Northern Ireland. Relevant EU legislation includes EU Regulations 852/2004, 853/2004, 2073/2005 and 2017/625.
All food business (i.e. anyone preparing, cooking, storing, handling, distributing, supplying or selling food) must be registered. If your business prepares or handles food that comes from animals for supply to other business, you must also be approved by your local authority. The emphasis is that all controls should be proportionate to the risk. A hazard analysis scheme (HACCP) is required by all food businesses (except those involved in primary production). This allows businesses to consider and control the risks specific to their business and removes the burden of the unnecessary regulation found in the previous legislation.
Practice Guidelines and Hygiene Training Opportunities
Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) Guidance
- Fish and Shellfish Hygiene Guidance (England, Wales and Northern Ireland; and Scotland)
- General food law
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)
- Food Safety Act: A Guide for Businesses
- Approved fishery product and live bivalve mollusc establishments in England, Wales and Norther Ireland, and Scotland
- FSA advice on fish to be eaten raw or lightly cooked
- FSS advice on freezing fishery products prior to them being eaten raw
- Food safety management for smaller businesses
Visit the European Commission's website using the following link below for access to good practice guides on hygiene and the application of HACCP principles.