Bob Salmon Food Solutions

Understanding Food Hygiene and Safety Regulations


The food safety laws say there are things you have to do. This handbook tells you why the laws are there, who has to comply and what they say you have to do to comply. It does not tell you how to do things as that is a skill specific to your business.

If you want help with the how to comply with food regulations, we suggest you contact your local Environmental Health department, Business Link, the SALSA team, your trade organisation or one of the independent food advisors. There are many useful documents and guides like Safer Food, Better Business and CookSafe, available free from the Food Standards Agency 0845 60 60 667, which give detailed advice.

Much of the material in the handbook has appeared in editions of Food Solutions, the publication that seeks to keep food operators up to date with all the existing and impending legislation. Here, it is amplified and brought together as a reference book. The European Commission publishes on average some 200 regulations, directives or decisions with regard to food each year. Therefore this book will be modified in subsequent editions. The online e-handbook, now available is changed as necessary, ensuring it is always up to date. For the full texts of the regulations you are advised to refer to the Food Solutions website, these are available in the e-handbook or packages with our new training and advice modules.

Using the Handbook/E-Handbook  

Texts of Regulations are correct as at the time of publication. There may be amendments before the next issue. Food Solutions updates will inform you of any of these changes. Contact for subscription details.

The E-Handbook is updated as necessary and has a search facility.

The handbook is aimed at anyone within the food sector. Some operators will require basic details (what the law says I have to do). Others may require more detailed information about specific regulations. To accommodate this second group the full texts of the regulations referred to in the book are available in the E-Handbook and in the members section of the website. To enable readers to quickly find the relevant information references are written in brackets next to the appropriate text. For example:

  1. Hygiene of Foodstuffs (852/2004) refers to the main regulation.
  2. Primary responsibility for food safety rests with the food business operator (852/2004, chapter 1, article1.1a) refers to the specific location of the phrase within the regulations.

We try not to use jargon or unfamiliar words. There are however, words or phrases used in the food regulations, which need to be understood. These appear in the glossary under appendices.