Food Hygiene/Food Safety Legislation


The Food Safety Act 1990 and The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006

The Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 are the major laws covering the safety of food from the farm to the point of final sale. This is not a full statement or interpretation of the law. The Act and related regulations can be purchased from HMSO. An application form for registering your food premises can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

E.coli 0157: Control of cross contamination

Cross contamination guidance on the control of E.coli 0157 has been issued by the Food Standards Agency.

The main offences

You commit an offence if you sell, or keep for eventual sale, food that:
  • is unfit for human consumption; or
  • has been rendered injurious to health; or
  • is so contaminated that it would be unreasonable to expect it to be eaten; or
  • is not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser; or
  • is falsely or misleadingly presented.
You also commit an offence if you render food injurious to health.
There are also offences about hygienic conditions and practices which are set out in regulations.


Who ensures compliance with the law?

  • Local authority officers, such as environmental health officers or additionally (in England and Wales) trading standards officers.
  • Codes of Practice are issued to help achieve consistent standards of enforcement across the country.

Powers to deal with unsafe food

Local authority officers will be able to:-
  • enter food premises to investigate possible offences;
  • inspect food to see if it is safe;
  • take samples for investigation;
  • detain suspect food or seize it and ask a Justice of the Peace to condemn it.

Powers to deal with unsatisfactory premises

  • The Act contains tougher powers to require improvements to be made to unhygienic premises.
  • In extreme cases premises can be closed down and, if public health is at immediate risk, this can be done very quickly.
  • Once closed, premises will only be allowed to reopen when the local authority certifies that they are no longer a threat to health.

Rights of appeal and compensation

  • You have a right to appeal against action taken by enforcement officers.
  • If a court decides that local authority officers have used their powers wrongly you will be entitled to compensation.


Requires premises used by food businesses to register with their local district council. The aim is to give local authorities a complete picture of the food premises in their areas. Caterers will have to register their premises, and vehicles such as vans selling hot dogs or ice cream will be included. However, this will be a simple task. Registration will be free and the local authority will have no right to refuse your application.


Hygiene training for food handlers

People who handle food must receive practical hygiene training appropriate to their job. The aim is to ensure that people have the practical skills and knowledge they need. Training requirements are set at appropriate levels building on existing schemes such as the Basic Food Hygiene Certificate, including those run "in-house" by companies.


Where to get more information

  • Your local authority Environmental Health Department or Trading Standards Department.
  • Industry groups.
  • The various bodies representing professional caterers.

Food hygiene- Ten Golden Rules

1. ALWAYS wash your hands before handling food and after using the toilet.
2. TELL your boss at once of any skin, nose, throat or bowel trouble.
3. ENSURE cuts and sores are covered with waterproof dressings.
4. KEEP yourself clean and wear clean clothing.
5. DO NOT SMOKE in a food room. It is illegal and dangerous. Never cough or sneeze over food.
6. CLEAN as you go. Keep all equipment and surfaces clean.
7. PREPARE raw and cooked food in separate areas. Keep food covered and either refrigerated or piping hot.
8. KEEP your hands off food as far as possible.
9. ENSURE waste food is disposed of properly. Keep the lid on the dustbin and wash your hands after putting waste in it.
10. TELL your supervisor if you cannot follow the rules. DO NOT BREAK THE LAW.

Downloadable Documents

All documents open in a new window.
File nameSizeApproximate Download time
Microsoft Word formatFood Premises Registration Form in Word format45056 Kb107 mins 17 secs @ 56k, 3 mins 5 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerFood Premises Registration Form in PDF format24108 Kb57 mins 24 secs @ 56k, 1 min 39 secs @ 2mb

Get Adobe Acrobat ReaderDownload Acrobat PDF Reader (external website). Acrobat PDF Reader allows you to view PDF files.

Get Microsoft Word ViewerDownload Microsoft Word Viewer (external website). Microsoft Word Viewer allows you to view Word documents even if you don't have Word installed on your computer.

Carlisle City Council logo   Cumbria County Council

Copeland District Council logo   Eden District Council logo


Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ