Food Safety

The Regulations came into force on the 15th September 1995. They aim to ensure common food hygiene rules across the European Community, as set out in the Food Hygiene Directive (93/43/EEC).

Who is Affected

Anyone who owns, manages or works in a food business - apart from those working in primary food production such as harvesting, slaughtering or milking - is affected by these Regulations. They apply to anything from a hot dog van to a five-star restaurant, from a village hall where food is prepared to a large supermarket, or to a vending machine.

This is true whether you sell publicly or privately, in a hotel or in a marquee, for profit or for fund-raising. The Regulations do not apply to food cooked at home for private consumption. Every process which deals with preparing or selling food can be classed as a food business activity, including:


  • preparation
  • handling
  • processing
  • packaging
  • manufacturing
  • storage
  • transporation
  • selling, distribution & supplying


Generally, anyone who handles food, or whose actions affect its safety, must follow the Regulations. This includes people who sell food (whether to retailers or to the public) and anyone who cleans articles or equipment, which come into contact with food.

Basic Hygiene Requirements

The Regulations aim to set out basic hygiene principles, which are generally not new. But their emphasis is different from previous regulations. They focus more strongly on how to identify and control food safety risks at each stage of the process of preparing and selling food.

Basic Requirements for Food Businesses

Food premises should:


  • be clean and maintained in good repair
  • be designed and constructed to permit good hygiene practices
  • have an adequate supply of portable (drinking) water
  • have suitable controls in place to protect against pests
  • have adequate natural and / or artificial lighting
  • have sufficient natural and / or mechanical ventilation
  • provide clean lavatories which do not lead directly into food rooms
  • have adequate hand washing facilities
  • be provided with adequate drainage