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Food Safety Legislation

When it comes to food safety legislation in the UK we follow the lead of the joint Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation, based in Rome. In their key document, the Codex Alimentarius, or food code, they clearly state:-

"Those engaged in food operations who come directly into contact with food should be trained or instructed in food hygiene to a level appropriate to the operations they are to perform"

In the UK, the main act concerning Food Safety Legislation is the Food Safety Act 1990 updated in 2009 and the General Food Regulations 2004. These Acts affect all whether in manufacturing, retail or catering, no matter how large or small the business.

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The Act aims to ensure that food meets consumer expectations and is wholesome, and covers the food distribution chain from primary production through to consumption.

The Act covers many topics from labelling to additives and packaging materials but re-enforces the need to train food handling staff.

Legislation does not specify what form this food safety training should take but most conscientious companies recognise that food training which comes with an Accredited Food Safety Certificate, and is quality controlled by an outside party, enables individuals and companies to face audit with confidence and feel pride in the training they provide.

Enforcement of these and other Food Acts, in the UK falls to the local authorities, usually through local enforcement officers. They also include trading standards officers. In Scotland the Sheriff or Magistrate will have enforcement powers.
Heavy fines and even imprisonment may be imposed for those not complying with food safety standards.

Health and Safety at Work Act

Under the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act it is a requirement that training is provided to ensure, as far as reasonably practical, that the health and safety of all is safeguarded. This act is the primary peice of Health and Safety Legislation in the United Kingdom.

Sometimes in food industries, this side of the training requirements are forgotten in favour of food safety training, but both are required to achieve compliance. Again no formal course requirement is specified but recognised and certificated courses will provide peace of mind to know that the individual or company will be able to achieve full compliance in Food Safety and Health and Safety.

Our health and safety courses will help you fully meet your legal compliance and best practice needs.

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