The regulation of hygiene standards in food businesses is undertaken within the framework provided by sections 10 to 12 of the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006, the latter gives effect to Regulation (EC) 852/2004.
Unhygienic Food Businesses
Where the proprietor of a food business is convicted of an offence under hygiene or processing regulations made under Part II of the Food Safety Act, the court by or before which the proprietor is convicted is satisfied the health risk condition is fulfilled with respect to that business must impose the appropriate prohibition.
In keeping with approach taken in sections 10 and 11 of the 1990 Act, section 12 and regulation 8 of the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 deal with emergency prohibition notices and orders and hygiene emergency prohibition notices and orders respectively.
Section 12 provides that where an authorised officer is satisfied that the health risk condition is fulfilled with respect to any food business, s/he may serve notice on the proprietor of the business, known as an ‘emergency prohibition notice’ imposing the appropriate prohibition. The authorised officer then has three days within which to apply for and obtain an emergency prohibition order from a magistrates’ court otherwise the notice lapses.
Regulation 9 of the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 has no equivalent in the 1990 Act. It gives effect to obligations arising under Article 54 of Regulation (EC) 882/2004. Where non-compliance with feed or food law, and with the rules for the protection of animal health and welfare is identified, the competent authority must take action to ensure that the situation is remedied and, in deciding what action to take, the nature of the non-compliance and the food business operator’s past record must be taken into account.
Under section 10 of the 1990 Act, where an authorised officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the proprietor of a food business is failing to comply with any regulations that require, prohibit or regulate the use of any process or treatment in the preparation of food or secure the observance of hygienic conditions and practices in connection with the carrying out of commercial operations with respect to food or food sources, s/he may serve an improvement notice on that proprietor.