The Food Safety Act 1990

The Food Safety Act 1990 provides the framework for all food legislation. The Act applies to all types of food businesses and the main responsibilities under the Act are:

  • to ensure you 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 you serve or sell is of the nature, substance or quality which consumers would expect
  • to ensure that the food is labelled, advertised and presented in a way that is not false or misleading

The Food Standards Agency has provided a guidance document for businesses.

Food Law Code of Practice

The Code of Practice governs the enforcement and execution of The Food Safety Act 1990. The purpose of this is to ensure that every local authority discharges its duty as effectively as possible using means that are most appropriate to the circumstances. It also regulates the standard of enforcement throughout every local authority in England.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to enforce legislation relating to food, including the primary production of food and imported food. This is done through programmed inspections, sampling and responding to food complaints.


Contact: The Environmental Health team

Last updated on 16/08/2018