An Overview of Food Hygiene Laws in the UK

With the urgent need for people to practice good hygiene spreading in the UK rapidly, everyone are starting to realize the importance of keeping an area clean, especially where meal preparations are concerned. It is with this concern in mind that an effort to stop the spread of germs in the UK is being carried out. The authorities after investigating certain facts have passed a number of food hygiene laws to ensure the protection of everyone. With so many food hygiene laws passed in the UK, it is still up to the citizens of the country to work together to stop the spread of germs.

Whom do the regulations affect?

The food hygiene regulations were made public in the UK on 15 September 1995. The regulations affect anyone that manages a food establishment. This goes for both small and large establishments in the food chain. Some of the areas that the relations affect are preparations, handling, processing, packaging, manufacturing, storage, transportation, selling, distribution and supplying. Anyone that is involved in handling food in the country must adhere to the food hygiene laws in the UK. However, the regulations were not made to affect people that cook in the privacy of their own home.

What do the regulations cover?

All kinds of food and drink comes under the covering of the regulations and people that are involved in handling any ingredients and preparations are subject to the same food hygiene laws in the UK. Dairy products and wholesale fish markets have their own guidelines to follow.

The regulations of food hygiene laws in the UK stipulate various conditions such as:    

The area for food preparation and eating should be kept clean and preserved. In addition, the area designed for preparing and eating the food must remain in good condition.  The area must be designed in such a way that good hygiene can be practiced and maintained. There should be sufficient drinking water available in the area.  Each proprietor should have the means or a plan in place to prevent the spread of pests in the food preparation or eating area. Each proprietor is advised to have proper lighting in place, whether natural or artificial. Each food business owner must have proper ventilation in place. This includes natural or mechanical ventilation. The regulations also states that each food preparation and eating areas must have clean lavatories that does not lead directly to the food preparation vicinity. Each food preparation area must have an adequate place to wash hands. The place that the food is being prepared must have a suitable place for drainage.

In addition, the regulations for suitable food hygiene in the UK stipulates that places where the food is processed or prepared must have easy clean surfaces and that if the need should arise the said area must be disinfected in order to avoid germs.

Food handlers and restaurant owners are warned not to buy food that they suspect is unfit for human consumption. People that are working in a food facility must be careful to practice good hygiene. Each food handler must wear clean protective clothing when handling food if the need arises. Food handlers working in a food area are strongly advised to report any illness to the relevant persons. Some illnesses require that the handler must be removed from handling any food at the business place.

Each food handler must try to protect food against any contamination that will cause sickness to human beings. Each food handler must first undergo a training process and be certified before he or she is employ to handle any form of foodstuff in a food preparation area.

Since the authorities that overview the food industry see the need to implement food hygiene laws in the UK, restaurants and other food establishments must adhere to the guidelines given in the regulations to stop the spread of contaminated food as well as to prevent any outbreak of illnesses. If one is not sure about what the regulations stipulate, then he or she can get in touch with the Environmental Health Services in the region for adequate advice.