Food hygiene law and regulatory framework for artisan and small scale producers. Registration, approval, HACCP, products of animal origin, unhygienic food.


Food hygiene is governed by three central retained EU law regulations:

Regulation (EC) 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs.
Regulation (EC) 853/2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin.
Regulation (EC) 2017/615 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products.

The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 provide the domestic framework within which the retained EU law legislation is enforced.

Food business operators are under a duty to cooperate with food authorities and, in particular, every food business operator must notify the appropriate food authority with details of each establishment under its control that carries out any of the stages of production, processing and distribution of food. This must be done in the way prescribed to register each establishment.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems help food business operators look at how food is handled food and provide for procedures that aim to ensure that food produced is safe to eat. In this context, a ‘hazard’ means:

… a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food or feed with the potential to cause an adverse health effect.

It is an important part of routine inspections made by enforcement officers to check that a business has an appropriate HACCP-based food safety management system in place.


While Regulation (EC) 852/2004 lays down general rules on the hygiene of foodstuffs, Regulation (EC) 853/2004 lays down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin. Food business operators which must comply with Regulation (EC) 853/2004 must also comply with Annex II of Regulation (EC) 852/2004.

The registration of a food business is required under Regulation (EC) 852/2004. Food business establishments handling food of animal origin must, with some limited exceptions, be approved under Regulation (EC) 853/2004 where they operate within a number of categ


The regulation of hygiene standards in a food business is undertaken within the framework provided by sections 7 to 13 of the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, the latter provides the enforcement mechanism and other related matters for retained EU law Regulation (EC) 852/2004.

Under section 10 of the Food Safety Act 1990, where an authorised officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the proprietor of a food business is failing to comply with any regulations that require, prohibit or regulate the use of any process or treatment in the preparation of food or secure the observance of hygienic conditions and practices in connection with the carrying out of commercial operations with respect to food or food sources, s/he m

Adopting the same approach as with improvement notices, a prohibition notice may be issued under the Food Safety Act 1990 and a hygiene prohibition notice may be issued under The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013. A prohibition notice may prohibit th