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Food Safety Legislation. Introduction Victorian England (1837-1901) The history of much modern food safety legislation can be traced back to Victorian.

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Presentation on theme: "Food Safety Legislation. Introduction Victorian England (1837-1901) The history of much modern food safety legislation can be traced back to Victorian."— Presentation transcript:

1 Food Safety Legislation

2 Introduction Victorian England ( ) The history of much modern food safety legislation can be traced back to Victorian England ( ), when widespread adulteration of food was a serious problem. often dangerous This was not only fraudulent, but was often dangerous. toxic salts of lead and mercury For example, toxic salts of lead and mercury were sometimes used to provide additional colour in sugar confectionery intended for children. first Food Adulteration Act The urgent need to restrain these practices led to the introduction of the first Food Adulteration Act in constantly being added to and amended Furthermore, the body of food safety legislation is constantly being added to and amended, so that any written work on the subject is almost certain to be out of date by the time it is published.

3 EUUSA What follows, therefore, is a concise overview of food safety legislation in the EU and in the USA, with a brief mention of some of the international aspects of food law.

4 European Legislation countries of the European Union (EU) Much of the food safety legislation now in force in the countries of the European Union (EU) originates from the European Commission (EC), rather than from national authorities. There are two main legal instruments by which the Commission can introduce new food legislation: 1) Directive: which sets out an objective, but allows national authorities to determine how that objective is to be achieved, and cannot be enforced in individual Member States until implemented into national legislation. directly applicable 2) Regulation: which is ‘‘directly applicable’’ and becomes law in all Member States as soon as it comes into force, without the need to change national legislation. horizontal vertical Both Directives and Regulations may be described as ‘‘horizontal’’, dealing with one aspect of food, such as hygiene, across all commodities, or ‘‘vertical’’, applying to particular foods.

5 published in the Official Journal of the EU Finally, the new legislation is published in the Official Journal of the EU and then comes into force. This process can take years, especially if there are contentious issues involved. Until comparatively recently, food safety in the EU was largely regulated by a complicated system of horizontal and vertical food hygiene Directives that had evolved over many years. Consequently, the Commission carried out a comprehensive review of the EU food hygiene legislation in the late 1990s. Food Hygiene Package The result was the introduction of the ‘‘Food Hygiene Package’’ of EU legislation, which came into force on 1 January 2006.

6 The Food Hygiene Package The Package consists of three main Regulations, which applied immediately throughout the EU. These are: 1) Regulation (EC) 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs  covers a wide range of topics, including:  the general obligations of businesses with regard to food hygiene  the requirements for hazard-analysis critical control point- (HACCP) based food safety management procedures  hygiene requirements for premises and equipment  staff training and personal hygiene  heat processes  packaging.

7 2) Regulation (EC) 853/2004 setting out specific hygiene requirements for foods of animal origin specific hygiene requirements  supplements 852/2004 (previous case Regulation) by adding specific hygiene requirements for:  Meat  Milk  Fish  Egg  by-products, such as gelatine. 3) Regulation (EC) 854/2004 setting out specific requirements for organizing official controls on products of animal origin designed for human consumption.  Deals only with the organisation of the official controls needed for animal products in the human food chain.

8 all stages in the food supply chain The approach of the new Regulations is described as ‘‘farm to fork’’, in that it applies to all stages in the food supply chain, including farmers and growers involved in primary production – a sector not covered by previous food hygiene legislation. All food businesses must also register with the ‘‘competent authority’’, so that they can be clearly identified. now the preferred method of ensuring food safety The inclusion of HACCP in the Regulations is another key development, clearly signifying that this is now the preferred method of ensuring food safety.

9 US Legislation quite different in structure from that of the EU. The system of food safety legislation in the USA is quite different in structure from that of the EU. Despite this, the main objective of protecting the consumer from exposure to unsafe and unwholesome food products is much the same. federal and state laws The system is based on flexible and science-based federal and state laws and the basic responsibility of industry to produce safe foods.

10 Federal Legislation Congress The basic foundation of US food safety legislation is determined by Congress in the form of authorising statutes, which are designed to achieve specific food safety objectives and to establish the level of public protection. These are generally broad in scope, but also define the limits of regulation. Important statutes include the following:  Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act;  Federal Meat Inspection Act;  Poultry Products Inspection Act;  Egg Products Inspection Act;  Food Quality Protection Act;  Public Health Service Act.

11 Implementation of these statutes is the responsibility of a number of executive agencies, and is accomplished by the development and enforcement of regulations. The main federal regulatory organisations concerned with food safety are:  the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). meat, poultry and egg products for all other foods.  The FSIS is responsible for the safety of all meat, poultry and egg products, while the FDA assumes responsibility for all other foods.

12 HACCP Examples of regulations developed in this way include the HACCP regulations and the introduction of performance standards for pathogen reduction and control. All current regulations are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations.

13 State Legislation In addition to the federal system of food safety legislation, there is an additional layer of regulation at the state level. States have their own legislative assemblies that are able to pass state laws and these may then be implemented as regulations by the local authorities for health and/or agriculture. should follow national food safety policy Generally, state regulations should follow national food safety policy, but there may be differences in the detail. Many states Many states also have their own microbiological standards or guidelines for foods.

14 International Aspects of Food Safety Legislation Although most countries have developed food legislation structures on a national, or regional basis, there has also been a degree of international cooperation. Codex Alimentarius Commission World Health Organization (WHO) Food and Agriculture Organization This has been achieved mainly through the activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a body set up in 1963 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with the aim of promoting the coordination of food standards work carried out by national authorities and other bodies.

15 Since its inception, Codex has developed and agreed a series of food standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations intended to protect consumer health and ensure fair trade practices. Codex standards cover a range of topics, including maximum residue limits for pesticides, food contaminants and toxins. Codes of practice include food hygiene principles, HACCP and control of veterinary drug use. Codex has published ‘‘principles’’ covering microbiological criteria and risk assessment.

16 Reference: Lawley R., Curtis L. and Davis J. The food safety hazard guidebook. RSC Publishing.


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