Food law and enforcement



Food businesses must comply with general food law and food hygiene legislation. This applies to all food business operators, including:

  • caterers
  • producers
  • manufacturers
  • importers
  • distributors
  • retailers

When new food regulations are introduced, the government takes steps to ensure they are suitable and fair. It aims to protect public health and ensure food safety while at the same time reducing the burden for businesses.

Both central and local government bodies enforce food safety and food standards regulations depending on the type of premises involved.

This guide provides an overview of food regulation and legislation. It details the food law enforcement agencies and how they carry out the enforcement of food laws. This guide also explains food crime and whistleblowing in the food industry.

You should note that there are many other more specific pieces of legislation regarding food. These are covered in other and Food Standards Agency guides. This guide covers general food law and food hygiene because of their relevance to all food businesses.