The EC General Food Law Regulation imposes an obligation on food businesses to immediately initiate steps to withdraw food from the market and to notify the authorities where they have reason to believe that a food is injurious to health or unfit for human consumption.
Failure to do so is a criminal offence, and recent years have seen escalating fines. Acting quickly is important to minimise
compensation claims and the reputational impact of a food incident.
Unlike other forms of crime, health and safety offences are rarely committed deliberately. No matter how conscientious a food and beverage organisation might be, accidents and incidents do happen. These will lead to investigations by the police, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or a local authority.
We can draw on the experience of former regulators, as well as many years’ experience in incident response, from the initial stages of investigation to court proceedings.