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Food and the law

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The safety and quality of the food that is bought is closely monitored and checked by trading standards officers and environmental health officers. There are many regulations and laws covering the composition and labelling of food products, chemical safety, food hygiene, control of foodstuffs and trading and marketing standards. Individual food businesses are responsible for checking how the Regulations apply in practice to them. They aim to ensure common food hygiene rules. The Regulations aim to set out basic hygiene principles and they let you assess the risk to food safety and then apply controls relevant to our own situation. Many Regulations are basic minimum hygiene standards which apply to every food business. But how they are applied still depends on the situation. For example, every food premises must be kept clean. But how they are cleaned, and how often, will be different for a manufacturer of ready-to-eat meals than for a bakery selling bread. Trading standards officers Trading standards officers implement the legislation on packaging, weights and measures. This legislation incudes: short Acts passed What it is The Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 This states that all goods must be of "satisfactory quality" The Weights and Measures Act 1985 This law makes selling products which weigh a small amount an offence The Consumer Protection Act 1987 This makes it an offence to make misleading statements about a ...read more.


It also has to tell us if the food has undergone a process. Many labels make claims about the food they are describing. Some of these claims are strictly regulated by law. It is important for the consumer to be aware of what claims on labels may mean. Some foods have GM labelling, but however carefully they have been assessed for safety and they may not still feel confident. The food Safety Act 1990 This is a law which covers the safety of food at all stages, from raw ingredients through to finished products. The law concentrates on ensures that the food is of the nature, substance and quality demanded by the purchaser. Under this act, food handlers may be prosecuted if they do not meet a quality that is consistent and if the food is unsafe for consumption. The only way in which they can not be prosecuted is if they have taken all reasonable precautions and "exercised all due diligence to avoid commission of the offence"-"due diligence". Anyone that handles food must be able to prove that all precautions were taken to avoid any possible contamination of the food. Haccp can be helpful in providing evidence that all precaution were taken to ensure that the food was hygienic and safe. ...read more.


These Regulations also allow some flexibility, consistent with food safety, to take into account practical handling. These Regulations place increased emphasis on controlling risks and on the amount of practices and procedures as the controls have to be effective. * Identify all steps in you activated which are critical to food safety. * Ensure adequate safety controls are in place, maintained and reviewed The guidance is intended to help food businesses and enforcement authorities the new food temperature control requirements which operate. It contains advice on the types of foods which are required to be held under temperature control. The Food Safety (Temperature Control) Regulations 1995 require foods which are likely to support the growth of pathogenic micro-organisms or the formation of toxins to be held at or below 8 degrees Celsius or above 63 degrees Celsius. The Regulations ensure consistent food safety. The act requires food businesses to identify food hazards and to ensure that controls are in place to eliminate or minimise risks to consumers. Hazards analysis systems have an important part to play in helping to ensure that food is produced safely. Chill control, in particular is very often critical to food safety, which means that businesses should understand which foods need to be chill controlled, be aware of the relationship between temperature and the shelf-life of food, and be sure that any flexibility allowed by the Regulations is operated in a way which does not jeopardise the safety of food. ...read more.

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