General principles of food safety and food law, which food businesses must comply with, are established in legislation. Primarily, food placed on the market must be safe. Additional principles covered, include: traceability of food, presentation of food, provision of suitable food information, withdrawal or recall of unsafe food placed on the market, and food imports and exports.

The enforcement of regulations on food standards, safety and hygiene is primarily the responsibility of local authorities (e.g. trading standards and environmental health), however the creation of food law in the UK is the function of central government and the devolved administrations.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) supervise local authority enforcement across the UK and work with enforcement officers to make sure food law is applied across the food chain. The FSA and FSS have developed Food Law Codes of Practice which give instructions that local authorities must consider when enforcing food law.

Updates & milestones

FSA Food Law Code of Practice & Local Authorities

The Food Law Code of Practice gives instructions that local authorities must consider when enforcing food law. Local authorities need to follow and implement the relevant sections of the Code that apply.

FSA Food Law Codes of Practice and Guidance for England, Wales and Northern Ireland

FSS Food Law Codes of Practice and Guidance for Scotland

For practical support and advice companies should contact their Local Authority Trading Standards office or their Primary Authority.

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