Food Hygiene & Safety Act: Regulation & Legislation - Legal Assistance from Criminal Defence Solicitors in Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire
Has your food business been threatened with a ‘Food Hygiene Improvement Notice’, ‘Food Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order’ or prosecution by food safety hygiene environmental health officers?
The law in the UK governing food hygiene and safety is called the ‘Food Safety Act 1990’ and ‘Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006’ – and both contain extreme criminal offences if breached.
In January 2012 a record fine was given to a Chinese restaurant in London for failing food safety regulations.
Food establishments are subject to regular ‘food hygiene and standards’ inspections by officers from local authorities and food hygiene regulation non-compliance can result in warnings and prosecution, including business closure:
- A ‘hygiene improvement notice’ or ‘improvement notice’
- A Magistrate Court ‘hygiene emergency prohibition order’
- Prosecution is the last resort and the most serious.
Lawtons Solicitors specialise in Food Hygiene and Food Safety regulation and legislation and provide qualified and experienced legal defence for firms or individuals involved in enforcement action, criminal investigation or prosecution by food authorities in England and Wales. These can include the environmental health department or the trading standards department of a borough, county or district council.
Criminal investigations or prosecutions can have devastating consequences and our extensive experience in Food Hygiene and Safety enables us to advise both on the risk of committing criminal offences, as well as the likelihood of a criminal penalty being invoked.
Food businesses must ensure full compliance with food safety legislation. Failure to do so could mean criminal prosecution with heavy fines or prison:
- Conviction in the magistrates' court of an offence is liable to a fine up to £5,000
- Crown court conviction carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment and / or an unlimited fine
Businesses affected by food hygiene law can vary, with many industries potentially being affected including agriculture, manufacturing, processing, distribution, warehousing, wholesaling, retailing, foodservice and catering.
As food hygiene & safety law is complex and ever-changing, it’s vitally important to hire experienced solicitors to ensure that your business is complying with the law.
To discuss Food Hygiene & Safety non-compliance and the potential effects on your business, please Contact Us today.