What is the Food Safety Act 1990?
The Food Safety Act 1990 is the legal framework for all food legislation in the country. The purpose of the Food Safety Act is to make sure that food handlers don’t add, remove anything from or treat the food in a manner that makes it unfit for human consumption. It also ensures that food handlers sell, serve, label and advertise their food within the standards that customers expect.
Food Standards Act 1999
The Food Standards Act was introduced in the House of Commons in 1999. It is this Act that established the Food Standards Agency. The Act provided us as the Food Standards Agency with certain powers and responsibilities in regards to food and safety standards. Their primary responsibility is to protect public health in regards to food. The Act gives us the mandate to step in at any stage in the food production and supply chain with the aim of protecting consumer's interests.
General Food Law
This piece of legislation outlines general requirements that food businesses and consumers with interest in food law should be aware of. It is an overview of the main European Commission and domestic legislation on the areas listed below:
- Food imports and exports
- Product withdrawals and recalls
On the 14th of July 2014, The Food Information Regulations 2014 came into force. These regulations mandate local authorities to enforce the European Food Information to Consumers Regulation No. 1169/2011. These regulations have shifted enforcement from the general use of frontline criminal offences to using improvement notices for a more proportionate and targeted regime. This change in enforcement regime has led to improved compliance.
Failure to comply with an improvement notice leads to a backstop criminal offence being instituted, with the offender being liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 upon summary conviction. Contravention of certain conventions automatically counts as criminal offences. Such violations include mislabelling of foods containing allergies. This is because such contravention is a risk to consumer health and safety.