Food Law News - UK - 1996

4 July 1996: ENFORCEMENT - Deregulation Order specifying new procedures for Improvement Notices

MAFF Letter 4 July 1996

Deregulation (Improvement of Enforcement Procedures)(Food Safety Act 1990) Order 1996

Using powers contained in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 (DCOA), the Government has issued an Order which requires enforcement authorities to issue a "Notice Prior to Service of an Improvement Notice" before issuing an Improvement Notice.

This notice will give food business proprietors a period, specified in the notice (a minimum of 14 days has been suggested , but is not stated in the Order), in which they will have the right to make either written or oral representations to the enforcement authority about the proposed enforcement action before an improvement notice can be served. If the proprietor wishes to make oral representation, he or she will need to contact the enforcement authority within a fixed period of days (a minimum of 7 days has been suggested) to arrange the necessary meeting.

The Ministry letter states that "the Order formalizes good enforcement principles which are already recognized by many local authorities and serves to make these a legal obligation. It also reflects the Government's policy to extend the provisions of the DCOA to all enforcement areas, bringing food safety into line with arrangements already made in other areas such as the Health and Safety at Work Act."

The Order comes into force on the 19 July 1996.

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