Food Safety Act 1990 Investigations
The General Food Regulations 2004 and The Food Safety Act 1990 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and was passed largely to meet with the norms of EC standards.
The Act is exhaustive and wide ranging covering all aspects of food and drinks from production to consumption. In its strictest form it encompasses not merely the processor but the importer, the distributor, wholesaler, retailer and all people involved in the complete food cycle. All premises where food is stored falls within its ambit, including warehouses. It clearly defines methods of handling and the limitations in processing. The Act covers breeding of livestock and growing of crops, and the proscriptions thereof. Only natural breeding is permitted with natural methods of assistance and in vitreo fertilization. It is strict about all forms of advertising which includes packaging, labeling, invoicing and any associated document. The Act is harsh on misleading claims.
It covers the sale of products intended for human consumption that are considered unsafe and injurious to health. Procedures for attending to complaints are laid down without ambiguity from the stage of entering the premises, collection of samples, transportation thereof and laboratory testing. The authority and brief of the inspection agencies are clearly spelled out.
When the bill was first introduced in Parliament, the Act met with considerable opposition as it involved a substantial financial burden on all elements in the food chain to alter their premises and meet the new requirements.
The Act is intended as a regulatory measure, a deterrent and a punishment, infringement of which attracts a maximum fine of ₤20000, up to two years imprisonment or both, and permanent closure of the establishment and its premises. However the Act also provides for suitable defense by the accused.
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