Food law and enforcement


Food business operators must comply with general food law and food hygiene legislation. This applies to all food business operators, including caterers, producers, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers.

When new food regulations are introduced, the government takes steps to ensure they are appropriate and proportionate. It aims to protect public health and ensure food safety while at the same time minimising the burden of compliance for businesses.

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

This guide is an introduction to general food law and food hygiene legislation and their enforcement. It includes information about the codes of practice enforcement officers must consider. It also tells you how whistleblowers from within businesses might raise public health concerns by making a disclosure.

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