Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations

Applies to EnglandApplies to WalesApplies to Scotland

Title: The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations

Category: England, Wales, Scotland Regulations

Date: 1995 (amended 1999, 2004)

Reference: 1995/1763 [Full text] (1999/1360 [Full text], Scotland - SSI 2004/394 [Full text])

General Description:

Note: In England, Scotland and Wales these regulations have been revoked/replaced by the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations, the Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations and the Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations respectively.

These Regulations implement Council Directive 93/43/EEC on the hygiene of foodstuffs, except for the requirements that relate to temperature controls. The Regulations apply at all stages of food production except primary production. These regulations are made under the Food Safety Act 1990.

Anyone who owns, manages or works in a food business - apart from those working in primary food production such as harvesting, slaughtering or milking - is affected by these Regulations. They apply to anything from a hot dog van to a five-star restaurant, from a village hall where food is prepared to a large supermarket, or to a vending machine.

The Regulations apply to all types of food and drink and their ingredients. But some businesses - generally manufacturers of products of animal origin, such as dairies or wholesale fish markets - follow their own product specific regulations. These regulations are listed below.

As the proprietor of a food business, you must:

  • make sure food is supplied or sold in a hygienic way;
  • identify food safety hazards;
  • know which steps in your activities are critical for food safety;
  • ensure safety controls are in place, maintained and reviewed.

Controls do not have to be complex. There are systems that can be used by food businesses to ensure that hazards are identified and controls are in place. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is one of a number of such systems.

The Regulations also cover the following aspects of food safety:

  • Schedule 1, Ch. I General requirements. See above.
  • Schedule 1, Ch. II Rooms where food is prepared.
  • The siting, design and construction must aim to avoid contamination of food and harbouring of pests. It must be kept clean and in good repair so as to avoid food contamination. It must provide appropriate facilities for personal hygiene. All reasonable, practical steps to avoid the risk of contamination of food or ingredients must be made. There must be a hot and cold water supply and adequate arrangements for storage and disposal of waste.
  • Schedule 1, Ch. III Movable or temporary premises. Similar rules apply as to Schedule 2 above.
  • Schedule 1, Ch. IV Transport. Container design must allow them to be adequately cleaned and disinfected. Containers must be kept clean and in good order to prevent contamination. There must be dedicated containers and vehicles used for bulk transport of food in liquid, granular or powder form. Containers or vehicles used must be reserved for food only and marked as such, when there is a risk of contamination.
  • Schedule 1, Ch. V Equipment. Articles, fittings and equipment that can come into contact with food shall be made of such materials and maintained so that they, and the surrounding areas, can be kept clean and where necessary disinfected.
  • Schedule 1, Ch. VI Food waste. Adequate facilities and arrangements must be made to allow proper hygiene.
  • Schedule 1, Ch. VII Water Supply. There must be an adequate supply of potable (drinking) water.
  • Schedule 1, Ch. VIII Personal hygiene. Food handlers must wear suitable clean and where appropriate protective clothing. Everyone in a food handling area must maintain a high level of personal cleanliness. No one suffering from or a carrier of a disease which could be transmitted through food should work in a food handling area.
  • Schedule 1, Ch. IX Protection from contamination. No raw materials or ingredients should be accepted if known or suspected of being contaminated and which would still be unfit after normal sorting or processing. At any stage of the business operation food must be protected from contamination likely to render it unfit for human consumption.
  • Schedule 1, Ch. X Training. All food handlers must be supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters to a level appropriate to their job.

The 1999 amendments to the Regulations (SI 1360) Schedule 1, Ch. IV Transport, implement EC Directive 98/28/EC which permit, subject to certain conditions, the bulk transport of raw sugar by sea in receptacle, containers or tankers that are not used exclusively for the transport of foodstuffs.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Food, Hygiene

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