What does Regulatory Law cover for Food Companies?

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Ashtons’ Regulatory  Law team (consisting of Tim Ridyard and Tim Norris) act for businesses across the food industry including farms, suppliers and restaurants.

There are a plethora of regulations affecting this sector covering everything from the environment to production to labelling. An example of recent cases includes:

Food Fraud – Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority (“SCPHA”), DEFRA and Food Standards Agency

A New Zealand based supplier of Manuka honey imported two containers of their product into the UK via Felixstowe. Suppliers to Ocado, Waitrose and Morrison’s amongst others, the containers were inspected upon entering the port and tests determined that the Manuka honey was adulterated with artificial sugars. The containers were seized.

If left unchallenged the load would be destroyed at a cost of nearly to £1.2 million to the client.

We needed to contest the findings of the Public Analyst and sought to arbitrate through the Laboratory of the Government Chemist (“LGC”). We marshalled our arguments supported, by our own scientist’s evidence, that the increased sugar levels were a naturally occurring phenomenon and the tests applied to the consignment were inconclusive. Our deductions were accepted by the LGC and led to the load being released, and a proposal that new guidance is issued to all port authorities across the country.

Trading Standards investigation – Food labelling

Successful representations made to local authority and withdrawal of prosecution. No change to the label of the product.

Food Hygiene investigation – Breach of Remedial Action Notice

A successful challenge on behalf of an Italian cheese company to prevent possible prosecution for breach of Notice.

Food detention notices – Novel Food regulations

Advised a Health Food Company on the seizure of bodybuilding supplements decreed by the FSA as unauthorised novel foods.

Our Regulatory law team also assists food businesses who require premises licences for the sale of alcohol.

How we can help you

If you or your business require advice or need assistance for any regulatory matters, please get in touch with our specialist Regulatory Law team through this website or by calling 0330 404 0778.


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