The Food Safety Act 1990 and regulations made under it make it an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to health.
They also place an obligation on businesses to ensure that their activities are carried out in a hygienic way. The council is responsible for ensuring that local businesses comply with these regulations.
Food safety regulations
The main pieces of legislation that cover general food business are:
- The Food Safety Act 1990
- The General Food Regulations 2004
- The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013
- Food Information Regulations 2014
- Regulation (EC) No 178/2002
- Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 Regulation (EC) No 853/2004
The above legislation places a general obligation on food business operators to ensure that effective controls are in place to avoid contamination of food and ensure that it is produced safely and the health of your customers is not put at risk. As a proprietor, you are responsible for checking specifically what you need to do to comply with the law. Failure to do this could lead to formal action being taken, which could result in financial penalties and accompanying adverse publicity.
Below is listed a number of items which are legally required within a food business, however this is not an exhaustive list.
- Premises are clean and in a good state of repair
- Good drainage, lighting and ventilation
- Sufficient waste disposal facilities
- Toilet facilities for staff
- Equipment is in good condition and kept clean
- Permanent arrangements for pest control which guard against infestation by rats, mice, flies, cockroaches and other insects
- An effective cleaning routine
- Staff who are appropriately clothed and trained and have good personal hygiene habits
- Arrangements for ensuring that all foods received into the premises are in good condition
- Handling, storage and transport practices which meet temperature control requirements and avoid contamination
- Cooking, re-heating, hot holding and cooling practices must be suitable to ensure food is produced safely