Food Industry Regulation

Food industry regulation
Legally reviewed by: Laura Smith

If you or your business face a food safety or food hygiene investigation or prosecution, you can rely on our specialist Regulatory Lawyers to provide the legal advice you need. Our specialist legal advice is your best defence against potential fines, custodial sentences and damage to your business representation.

Cartwright King’s Regulatory Law Team keeps up to date with the regulations around food safety and hygiene compliance, and we understand the pressure that comes with operating a food-based business and remaining compliant. This positions us to provide reliable legal advice and assistance.

For immediate action, get in touch with our Regulatory Law Team now.

How Cartwright King Can Help You

Cartwright King’s specialist Regulatory Law Team has helped hundreds of food-based businesses faced with allegations of food safety and food hygiene violations. Our experience with such cases ensures that you get the right legal advice when you need it most. 

We can help with:

  • Compliance and enforcement issues related to COVID-19
  • Detention Notices
  • Food condemnation orders
  • Food hygiene rating appeals
  • Food labelling and packaging issues 
  • Food safety and hygiene investigations and prosecutions
  • Hygiene emergency prohibition notices/orders
  • Hygiene improvement notices
  • Hygiene prohibition notices
  • Interviews under caution

Benefit from a free, initial telephone conversation

If you are facing allegations of food industry regulation violations, you need the right legal advice, fast.

That’s why Cartwright King offers a free, initial telephone call with a specialist Regulatory Solicitor, which gives you the opportunity to explain your situation and find out how we can best support you.

There’s no substitute for speaking to one of our specialist solicitors to get the right advice, and ensuring that you are well prepared when your food-based business is under scrutiny. 

For immediate action, call us or email us for your free* initial discussion. 

The discussion is completely informal and confidential, and is an opportunity for us to:

  • Get to know you 
  • Understand your situation
  • Agree how you want to proceed

*Please be aware that this is a ‘get to know you’ call and no legal advice will be given.

Why Choose Cartwright King for Defence Against Food Safety Allegations?

You want your case to be in the hands of experienced, responsive and trustworthy solicitors when facing allegations of food safety and food hygiene violations. We understand the demands and pressures that come with working in the food sector – especially amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

We have dealt with many cases involving food safety issues, which means that we are well positioned to defend you against allegations brought against you.

As a nationally renowned law firm with a reputation for defending against civil and criminal investigations, we are well placed to properly present your case and represent you. 

We listen, we understand and we genuinely care about your interests and protecting your business reputation. That’s why we offer sound, reliable legal advice to ensure that you understand your rights when facing a heavy fine or prosecution. 

Cartwright King can defend you against a wide range of issues, giving you peace of mind that your case is in good hands.

Working with a specialist Cartwright King solicitor gives you the assurance of having access to legal counsel who will advise you at every stage of your case. We will do everything we can to clear you of wrongdoing or minimise any action against you.

We are committed to defending your legal rights and your reputation, ensuring that you are treated fairly throughout your case. When you need us most, we will be there to offer sound, sensible legal advice and sure guidance.  

We’re a trusted, resourceful Legal 500 top tier law firm with specialist solicitors that are calm under pressure, giving you defence counsel that you can count on.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

What is a food hygiene rating?

The food hygiene rating system is used by the Environmental Health Department of local authorities to monitor food-based businesses to ensure compliance with food industry regulations.

Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) regularly inspect food business operators and issue a star rating based on the outcome of their inspection. The following ratings are used:

0 – Urgent improvement in food safety and hygiene standards is necessary.

1 –  Major food safety and hygiene improvements needed.

2 – Some improvement required. 

3 – Generally satisfactory food safety and hygiene standards.

4 – Good food safety and food hygiene standards.

5 – Very good food safety and food hygiene standards.

A rating is issued based on several factors, including the cleanliness of the premises, how food is stored, prepared, cooked, cooled and reheated and how measures to ensure food safety are managed and recorded.

Can a food hygiene rating be appealed?

Yes. You can appeal a food hygiene rating if you think it is wrong or unfair. Usually, you will have to submit an appeal in writing to your local authority within 21 days of receiving your hygiene rating notification letter.

If you are not sure about making an appeal, get in touch with a specialist Cartwright King Food Safety and Food Hygiene Lawyer to discuss the merits of challenging the rating you have been issued.

Can I refuse entry to an Environmental Health Officer to my premises?

Under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, it is considered a criminal offence to intentionally prevent an EHO from entering the premises of a food-based business for inspection – unless it is at an ‘unreasonable hour’ or without reasonable excuse.

You must allow an EHO to enter your premises if an inspection takes place within your normal operating hours. EHO inspections are usually unannounced, but if you operate from a private dwelling, you must be given 24 hours’ notice prior to an inspection.

Why is my food business being inspected?

Your food business can be inspected for several reasons. Local authority inspections are routine and carried out to ensure that your food-based business remains compliant with food safety and food hygiene standards and regulations.

A food business can also be inspected based on a complaint made about the food or condition of your premises – especially if a food poisoning incident has been reported.

If you are found to be in breach of regulations, an EHO has the power to seize food from your premises without your permission.

What are the HACCP principles?

To operate a food-based business, you must have an active food safety management system to protect food from biological, chemical or physical contamination. When inspecting your premises, an EHO will look to identify that you have such a system.

Your system must follow seven Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, which include:

  • Conducting a Hazard Analysis
  • Identifying Critical Control Points (CCPs)
  • Establishing critical limits
  • Monitoring CCPs
  • Establishing corrective action
  • Verification 
  • Recordkeeping

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