Food safety/food hygiene

Weightmans' food safety team embraces a detailed and holistic approach to guide you through the complex range of regulatory controls that affect your business and ensure it meets the exacting compliance standards required in today’s world.

Our specialist team is led by Gillian Hulme, a dual qualified Environmental Health Officer and solicitor. Gill has more than 20 years experience of food safety and trading standards both from an Enforcement Officer’s perspective, as well as long-standing transactional expertise from her work as a regulatory specialist in a corporate legal team.

A food business requires advice and support that combines both of these elements to ensure that it is protected from exposure to both civil and criminal sanctions. Recent changes to the Sentencing Guidelines for Food Safety offences have increased the exposure to significant fines. This has highlighted the vital importance of having robust policies and procedures in place to safeguard food production and distribution and demonstrate legal compliance.

Emergency notices and product recalls are fortunately infrequent events but when they occur it is vital that you have a specialist team by your side that is experienced in managing these issues. We can ensure an acceptable response is provided to the regulator as well as handling media coverage to manage any reputational issues that may arise.

We have the technical expertise to provide both strategic and tactical value to your business and have assisted many companies in the following areas:

  • We advise and assist your people by identifying compliance gaps and working with them to achieve the most cost-effective solutions. 
  • We focus on protecting your business by developing contractual arrangements with your suppliers that reflect legislative requirements. 
  • We can strengthen and improve your procedures by providing technical solutions so you can confidently rely on your Due Diligence defence system.
  • Our specialist team of lawyers with experience of product recall and emergency enforcement can provide support and bespoke advice during critical situations.

We also provide guidance when setting up your business to ensure that contractual arrangements reflect the distinct nature of food safety and the legislative framework in which you operate. Choosing the right accreditation scheme and providing the right training for your people are essential considerations to make at the early stages. Our team can offer valuable expertise during these decisions.

Fines for corporate manslaughter and health & safety offences look set to increase dramatically

From 1 February 2016 a new Definitive Guideline on Health and Safety offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene offences will take…

Crispin Kenyon
Crispin Kenyon Partner
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