This includes working to improve hygiene on farms, monitoring shellfish biotoxins and ensuring that human health is not put at risk through what is fed to animals, as well as providing guidance on best practice and legal requirements. We work closely with primary producers to ensure we get this vital first link in the chain right.
On our pages, Farmers and Primary Producers can find information on hygiene legislation and specific areas including:
For information on Shellfish, see our Shellfish pages.
For the Approved Meat Sector, see our Meat Approvals pages.
Information on Animal feed is in our Animal Feed section.
A food incident occurs when there are concerns about the safety or quality of food. If you have concerns, you can Report an incident.
Guidance on controls for raw milk (including antibiotic residues), cheese production and eggs.
Raw drinking milk and raw cream control requirements in Scotland
It is an offence to place raw milk or cream on the market for direct consumption in Scotland - this includes distribution. The ban includes sheep, goats, buffalo and any other species farmed for its milk. Raw drinking milk and cream has historically been recognised as a high risk to public health as it was linked to a high number of food poisoning outbreaks, mainly Salmonella, Campylobacter and E.Coli O157 infection, and 12 potentially associated deaths in Scotland.
To mitigate this risk mandatory pasteurisation of raw cows’ drinking milk was introduced in Scotland in 1983, and extended to drinking milk from all farmed animals in 2006. The Scottish policy of mandatory pasteurisation is consistent with the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food advice, who recommend pasteurisation as the key critical control point in the prevention of milk borne disease. It is also in line with the recommendations of the E.coli Task Force Report from 2001, commissioned after 21 people died in a major food poisoning outbreak in Wishaw in 1996, which highlighted the raw milk ban in Scotland as a positive step in protecting consumers from the risks of E.coli O157. Mandatory pasteurisation also protects the wider community, as milk borne pathogens such as E.coli O157 are known to be transmitted through person to person contact.
Given the historical evidence and weight of expert scientific opinion in favour of mandatory pasteurisation, there are currently no plans to lift the ban on direct sales of raw drinking milk in Scotland.
Guidance on cheese production for the dairy industry and local authorities.
What food operators need to know about testing milk for antibiotic residues.
Information on the areas subject to inspection and the standards expected of Scotland’s egg producers.
Guidance on hygiene for fish producers.
Fishery Products Charges Regulations 2007
Food businesses landing fishery products in the UK from other countries need to pay a contribution to local authorities, to help cover the cost of hygiene inspection and analysis. Find out about Fishery Products (Official Controls Charges) Regulations 2007.
Freezing guidance for control of parasites in fishery products
EU legislation says certain fishery products that are intended to be eaten raw need to be frozen before use, to protect consumers against parasites. So we recommend businesses that produce or sell fishery products read this guidance on freezing requirements for fishery products intended to be eaten raw or lightly cooked.
Approved fishery producers
Information on Approved Premises in Scotland is held on our Local Authority Approvals pages.
How to develop safety plans for farm manures to reduce microbiological contamination of ready-to-eat crops.
When pesticides are authorised and monitored by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate, we make sure food safety is a priority. We also relay public concerns to the expert committees consulted on pesticides. Read more about the authorisation, regulation and surveillance of pesticides on food.gov.uk.