Food Standards Inspections
Food Standards requirements cover the quality, composition, labelling, presentation and advertising of food.
There are many regulations in force regarding general labelling requirements, labelling of specific products and controlling contaminants or allergens in food.
Food standards inspections are carried out to ensure that food offered for sale to consumers is labelled correctly and its composition meets the legal requirements.
Food businesses must ensure that products they produce and sell are labelled appropriately and all information required by the legislation is displayed for customers, either on packaging, labels, notices, invoices or menus.
Proprietors must also ensure that any claims made regarding their foods are accurate and can be verified by scientific and/or documented evidence (e.g. fresh, traditional, original, home-made etc.)
Food enforcement officers have powers to take action against food businesses who fail to comply with the law.
This enforcement action is contained in the Food Law Enforcement Policy and Procedure and can range from a warning letter to referring major deficiencies to the Procurator Fiscal for prosecution.
The courts can impose severe penalties for non-compliance.
The purpose of a food standards inspection is to:
- Check that businesses are meeting legal requirements relating to the quality, composition, labelling, presentation and advertising of food and of materials or articles in contact with food.
- Ensure that food labelling does not confuse or mislead consumers, that the food complies with compositional standards and does not contain non-permitted or excessive levels of additives, contaminants or residues.
- Assess and consider the existence and effectiveness of quality management systems.
- Determine effective enforcement action to be taken.
At the conclusion of every inspection the officer will discuss with the manager/proprietor any contravention of food law discovered, corrective action necessary and recommendations of best practice considered appropriate.
A written report confirming the inspection findings is produced and sent to the business in accordance with the Food Law Intervention Policy and Procedure.