Owners of businesses in the food and drink industry have been warned that they could lose their livelihoods in a bid to tighten food safety law.
Everyone from Restauranteurs, Pub landlords and supermarkets are being warned by the commercial law firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP. The sentencing guidelines for food safety and hygiene have been tightened which could lead to infringements meaning the loss of a business as well as the possibility of jail. These are the possible punishments for businesses endangering customers’ health in the aftermath of the sentencing guidelines being tightened.
In these new guidelines, the business turnover and the potential harm are conditions that could be taken into account when working out sentencing for health and safety offences it is thought that the same thing could happen when dealing with food safety offences in the future.
Philip Sewell, the commercial dispute resolution partner with MMS and based in London has hinted that the sentencing is set to become a great deal tougher for food and drink providers who infringe food safety regulations. This will include laws around food hygiene.
There is already evidence that tougher sentences are being sought by the CPS in England and in Wales for food safety offences.
The latest EU regulations that are now in force, the businesses that are preparing to sell pre-packaged food and drink must now provide details regarding 14 major allergens that may be present in the food they serve. Alongside this the Food Standards Agency brought in regulations on 1st March in regards for the serving of minced meat products. These new regulations cover rare burgers and now shows that similar food products must be thoroughly cooked except in instances when specific approval has been obtained.
Businesses that are looking to serve products such as burgers or other mincemeat products that have not been cooked thoroughly throughout will need to obtain a form that verifies their ability to do so. The business owner will need to show that they are approved by either the FSA, the relevant local authority, or Environmental Health Officers.