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General Food Law

The Food Safety Act 1990 provides the framework for all food legislation in Great Britain.  

The Food Safety Act 1990 provides the framework for all food legislation in Great Britain.  The main responsibilities for all food businesses under the Act are:

  • to ensure food businesses do not include anything in food, remove anything from food or treat food in any way which means it would be damaging to the health of people eating it.
  • to ensure that the food that businesses serve or sell is of the nature, substance or quality which consumers would expect.
  • to ensure that food is labelled, advertised and presented in a way that is not false or misleading.

The vast majority of food and feed regulation which impacts on food businesses in Scotland originates from European food and feed law. 

Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 (General Food Law Regulation) is the foundation of EU food and feed law.  It sets out general principles, requirements and procedures that underpin decision making in matters of food and feed safety, covering all stages of food and feed production and distribution.

The General Food Law Regulation ensures a high level of protection of human life and consumers' interests in relation to food, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal EU market

The General Food Regulations 2004 (as amended) provides for the enforcement (including imposing penalties) of certain provisions of Regulation (EC) 178/2002 in Scotland and Wales, and amended the Food Safety Act 1990 to bring it in line with Regulation (EC) 178/2002.

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