Food Law News - UK - 2008

FSA Consultation Letter, 14 April 2008

FOOD SAFETY ACT – Consultation on revised version of ‘The Food Safety Act 1990: a Guide for Food Businesses'

A copy of the draft guidance document is available on this site. See: Draft Food Safety Act Guidance

The Agency is seeking views and comments on new draft FSA Guidance Notes on the Food Safety Act 1990. Responses are requested by: 11 July 2008

Consultation details

The Agency has written new guidance notes to compliance with the Food Safety Act 1990. The guide provides advice for food businesses on the requirements of the Food Safety Act 1990 and updates the previous version – 'The Food Safety Act 1990 and You', issued by MAFF. The current guide takes into account amendments made to the Act by the Food Safety Act 1990 (Amendment) Regulations 2004 and the General Food Regulations 2004 to allow for the requirements of the General Food Law Regulation (EC) 178/2002 and also amendments in the light of the Food Hygiene Regulations 2006. A separate guide will shortly be sent to stakeholders in Northern Ireland on the Food Safety ( Northern Ireland ) Order 1991.

In particular, we would welcome your views on:

The Food Safety Act 1990 is an important Act in Great Britain , which updated previous law on food safety and consumer protection. A separate but similar law applies in Northern Ireland . A guide 'The Food Safety Act 1990 and You', covering both these pieces of legislation was first published in 1990, along with two sectoral guides for farmers and growers, and for caterers and their employees. A revised version was issued in 1996 (reprinted in 1997 and 1998), without the sectoral guides.

Regulation (EC) 178/2002 (General Food Law Regulation) introduced new directly applicable requirements in 2005 for food businesses, intended to improve food safety throughout the European Union. As a result, there was a need to introduce new enforcement powers and penalties in relation to these new requirements, some which were similar to the existing provisions in the Food Safety Act 1990. The Food Safety Act 1990 (Amendment) Regulations 2004 made amendments to the Food Safety Act 1990 to avoid any duplication or conflict with the new requirements.

This current guide takes account of the amendments made to the Act by this new legislation (above). It does not cover food hygiene, which following recent legislation is now governed by separate legislation and supporting guidance. The guide should be read in parallel with the FSA Guidance Notes on Regulation (EC) 178/2002, which were issued in July 2007.

There should be no cost implications for the new version of 'The Food Safety Act 1990 and You', which gives guidance on the law and not on best practice, other than in reading the document. Accordingly, no impact assessment has been issued. However, if you consider that there are extra costs for business which we have not considered, we would be grateful if you could comment.

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