The vast majority of food and feed regulation which impacts on food businesses in Scotland originates from European food and feed law.
Important areas of EU food law include:
Official Feed and Food Controls
Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls for feed and food law (and animal health and animal welfare) sets out the approach that competent authorities of member states must adopt for official controls. Essentially, this covers how they should monitor and enforce businesses' compliance with feed and food law (and with animal health and welfare rules). This has recently been renegotiated and the new regulation is scheduled to come into full force in the EU from December 2019.
Regulation 882/2004 requires that The Multi-Annual National Control Plan (MANCP) plan be kept under review and revised regularly. The MANCP provides an overview of how authorities and other bodies work together to safeguard public, animal and plant health, to protect consumers and to promote animal welfare.
EU Food Hygiene Regulations
The EU package of food hygiene regulations is an most important area of EU food law. Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs establishes the basic hygiene requirements that apply to all food businesses. The regulation requires businesses to identify and manage the risks associated with their operation through appropriate food safety management controls based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.
Food Information for Consumers
The EU Food Information to Consumers Regulation No 1169/2011 (FIC) covers the general food labelling and nutrition information requirements for pre-packed foods. General food labelling includes areas such as the name of the food, ingredients lists and allergen information. Nutrition information includes areas such as the energy content and amounts of fat, carbohydrate, salt and protein present in a food. In addition, the Regulation requires food businesses to provide allergen information to consumers for food sold loose and in catering situations.
In addition there is a wide range of other technical EU regulations that apply in Scotland, covering topics such as compositional standards of food, food additives, food contact materials, microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, animal feed hygiene, and chemical contaminants which collectively ensure a farm to fork approach to food safety.
The execution and enforcement of EU food and feed law in Scotland is achieved through relevant Scottish primary and secondary legislation, as detailed in the Scottish Food and Feed Law Guide.
Updated EU Acrylamide Legislation
In April 2018 the Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 will take effect, establishing best practice, mitigation measures and benchmark levels for food businesses to ensure that acrylamide levels are as low as they can be in their food. Acrylamide is a chemical substance formed typically in foods with high starch content, when cooked at high temperatures such as in frying, roasting, toasting and baking.
Food Standards Scotland and the Food Standards Agency in the rest of the UK, are partnering with key stakeholders such as the British Hospitality Association to develop simple guidance for food businesses in the catering and food service industry to help them manage acrylamide within their food safety management systems.