Sanctions swell for sub-standard food and drink stores
Food safety and hygiene convictions are twice as likely since new sentencing guidelines came into effect in 2016, a recent study by Government agency, the Sentencing Council, shows.
The study shows that over 90% of businesses and their representatives that fail to comply with food safety and hygiene regulations are being sanctioned with fines. Within 10 months of the new guidelines coming into play, fines handed out to businesses increased by around £5,000, raising the average fine to be in the region of £7,000. Around 5% of business representatives are alternatively (or additionally) receiving criminal sanctions such as community orders, suspended sentences and custodial sentences.
These findings are reassuring for the consumer, reflecting a movement towards accountability and transparency within the food and drink sectors. However, the increased severity of sanctions being issued highlights the importance of compliance for those heading up food and drink businesses. Restaurateurs and bar managers must ensure that their establishments are meeting food safety and hygiene standards to mitigate risks to the reputation of their businesses, to safeguard (potentially delicate) profit margins and, ultimately, to protect themselves from prosecution.
We have expertise in advising food and drink sector clients on the ever-evolving array of regulations affecting their businesses. We also assist clients within these sectors on matters relating to commercial contracts, IP, employment and corporate transactions. For more information on this topic, please contact Daisy Divoka, or give us a call on 0345 070 6000.
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This article was prepared by Jess Thomson.