A Guide to the
General Food Hygiene Regulations 1995, 2005 & 2006

Presented By N.E.M business Solutions           

Tel / Fax: 01823 680119   

This page was originally published as a booklet by the Department of Health. Crown copyright acknowledged.

Background to the 2006 food hygiene legislation

A presentation prepared by Great Yarmouth district council

From 1 January 2006, new EU food hygiene legislation has applied throughout the UK.

The legislation

The package of legislation:

As EU regulations, the legislation is directly applicable law. The regulations are:

The general hygiene requirements for all food business operators are laid down in Regulation 852/2004. Regulation 853/2004 supplements Regulation 852/2004 in that it lays down specific requirements for food businesses dealing with foods of animal origin. Regulation 854/2004 relates to the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption.

The legislation introduces a 'farm to fork' approach to food safety, by including primary production (that is, farmers and growers) in food hygiene legislation, for the first time in the majority of cases.

All food businesses need to be registered with the competent authority, such as the Meat Hygiene Service or the local authority environmental health department, depending on the type of business. A key part of the legislation is the requirement for food business operators (except farmers and growers) to put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure, or procedures, based on HACCP principles. The legislation is structured so that it can be applied flexibly and proportionately commensurate with the nature of the food business.

Under the application of subsidiarity, certain requirements in the legislation are given effect by national legislation. A wide range of straightforward information on the legislation is given in the 'Hygiene legislation' link below.

There were two other parts to the package: Directive 2004/41 repeals the previous EU legislation or, in some cases, amends still existing legislation and Directive 2002/99 (which falls under Defra policy responsibility) lays down the animal health rules on products of animal origin for human consumption.

Amended copies of the food hygiene regulations were published on 2 June (2004/41) and 25 June 2004 (852, 853 and 854/2004). The regulations have been amended since by the EU implementing measures (see below) and in the case of 854/2004 by Regulation (EC) 882/2004, the Official Feed and Food Controls Regulation..



What are the regulations?
Who is affected?
What do the regulations cover?
Identifying & controlling food hazards
Basic hygiene requirements
General guidance
Main requirements of the regulations
Appendix A: Product-specific regulations
Appendix B: Publications & contact details


This page introduces you to the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 and Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 2059 The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2005 . 

It tells you what they are and how you can put them into practice. At the end of this booklet is a summary of the most important points.

This information is only advisory. Individual food businesses are responsible for checking how the regulations apply in practice to them.

If you need further advice, contact the Environmental Services Department of the Tendring District Council: their address and phone numbers are given at the end of this page.

What are the regulations?

The regulations came into force on 15 September 1995. They aim to ensure common food hygiene rules across the European Community, as set out in the Food Hygiene Directive (93/43/EEC). The 2005 regulations came into force on the 1st January 2006.:                   www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20052059.htm


Details of how to obtain copies of both the regulations and the Directive are given at the end of this page.

Who is affected?

Anyone who owns, manages or works in a food business — apart from those working in primary food production such as harvesting, slaughtering or milking — is affected by these regulations. They apply to anything from a hot-dog van to a five-star restaurant, from a village hall where food is prepared to a large supermarket, or to a vending machine. This is true whether you sell publicly or privately, in a hotel or in a marquee, for profit or for fund-raising. The regulations do not apply to food cooked at home for private consumption.

Every process which deals with preparing or selling food can be classed as a food business activity, including:

Generally, anyone who handles food, or whose actions could affect its safety, must follow the regulations. This includes people who sell food (whether to retailers or to the public) and anyone who cleans articles or equipment which come into contact with food.

What do the regulations cover?

The regulations apply to all types of food and drink and their ingredients. But some businesses — generally manufacturers of products of animal origin, such as dairies or wholesale fish markets — follow their own product-specific regulations. These regulations are listed at the end of this page — see Appendix A.

Identifying and controlling food hazards

As the proprietor of a food business, you must:

Controls do not have to be complex. There are systems that can be used by food businesses to ensure that hazards are identified and controls are in place. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is one of a number of such systems. For more information see the booklet Food Hazards and your Business — Appendix B.


Basic hygiene requirements

The regulations aim to set out basic hygiene principles, which are generally not new, but their emphasis is different from previous regulations. They focus more strongly on how to identify and control food safety risks at each stage of the process of preparing and selling food.

Rather than simply following a list of rules, the regulations let you assess the risk to food safety and then apply controls relevant to your own situation. Not all the requirements for the structure and equipment of food premises will apply to you. Some are followed by the words ‘where appropriate’ or ‘where necessary’. For example, one provision states that, ‘where appropriate’ floors must allow surface drainage. But where you have a system to ensure water does not build up, so that there is no risk to food safety, actual floor drains may not be necessary. So there is no absolute requirement to have them.

Basic requirements for food businesses

Food premises should:

Rooms where food is prepared, treated or processed should generally have surface finishes which are easy to clean and, where necessary, disinfect. This would, for instance, apply to wall, floor and equipment finishes. The rooms should also have:

Of course, many of the regulations are basic minimum hygiene standards which apply to every food business. But how they are applied still depends on the situation. For example, every food premises must be kept clean. But how they are cleaned, and how often, will be different for a manufacturer of ready-to-eat meals than for a bakery selling bread.

General guidance

Supplies of raw materials

Do not buy or supply any raw materials if you think that even after sorting or processing they could make food unfit for human consumption. Any material which you suspect or know to be infected or contaminated with parasites or foreign substances to this extent should be rejected.

Quality of water in food

There must be an adequate supply of potable (drinking) water, to be used whenever necessary to ensure food is not contaminated. In the vast majority of cases, this is supplied via the public water supply. But if there is any doubt about the quality of a water supply, you should seek advice from the Council’s Environmental Services Department. Their address and phone numbers are given at the end of this page.

Personal hygiene for food handlers

Anyone who works in a food handling area must maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness. The way in which they work must also be clean and hygienic. Food handlers must wear clean and, where appropriate, protective over-clothes. Anyone whose work involves handling food should:

If any employee reports that they are suffering from any such illness, the business may have to exclude them from food handling areas. Such action should be taken urgently. If you have any doubt about the need to exclude, you should seek urgent medical advice or consult the Council’s Environmental Services Department.

Preventing food contamination

Food handlers must protect food and ingredients against contamination which is likely to render them unfit for human consumption or a health hazard. For example, uncooked poultry should not contaminate ready-to-eat foods, either through direct contact or through work surfaces or equipment.

Training and supervising food handlers

Food handlers must receive adequate supervision, instruction and/or training in food hygiene. Each food business must decide what training or supervision their food handlers need by identifying the areas of their work most likely to affect food hygiene. Useful guidance may be found in relevant Industry Guides to Good Hygiene Practice — see below and Appendix B.

Temporary and occasional food businesses

Many of the guidelines in this booklet apply equally to food businesses trading from temporary or occasional locations like marquees or stalls. But because not all of them will be practical, there are also some slightly different requirements. However, wherever food is sold, two basic rules always apply:

Industry guides to good hygiene practice

The regulations introduce a new concept of voluntary industry guides to good hygiene practice. These provide more detailed guidance on complying with the regulations, as they relate to specific sectors e.g. catering, or vending. They are usually produced by trade associations and recognised by the Department of Health for submission to the European Commission. (Advice on drawing up an Industry Guide is available in the booklet called A Template: Industry Guides to Good Hygiene Practice — see Appendix B.)

EC-wide Industry Guides may also be published in the EC Official Journal to provide further advice on achieving the requirements of the regulations. Although these Guides will not be legally binding like the regulations, they will help you assess how well you are following the regulations, and they provide invaluable advice on food safety. Importantly, enforcement officers will refer to them when examining how businesses are operating.

Further information

For further advice about the regulations, contact the Council’s Environmental Services Department. Their address and phone numbers are at the end of this page. Remember, you must apply to register any new food premises (or a change in the ownership of a food business) with the TDC’s Environmental Health Services twenty-eight days before you start trading, to enable them to inform you about food safety standards.


Main requirements of the regulations

Here is a short summary of the main requirements of Schedule 1 of the regulations.

Schedule 1, Chapter I: General requirements for food premises (other than those specified in Chapter III)

Equipment & facilities


I.1: Food premises Keep clean, and in good repair and condition
I.2: Layout, design, construction and size Should permit god hygiene practice and be easy to clean and/or disinfect, and should protect food against external sources of contamination such as pests
I.3: Sanitary & hand washing facilities Adequate facilities must be available, and lavatories must not lead directly into food handling rooms
I.4: Washbasins Must have hot and cold (or appropriately mixed) running water and materials for cleaning and drying hands. Where necessary there must be separate facilities for washing food and hands Provide soap and suitable hand-drying facilities
I.5 & I.6: Ventilation There must be suitable and sufficient means of natural or mechanical ventilation. Ventilation systems must be accessible for cleaning — e.g., give easy access to filters.
I.7: Lighting Food premises must have adequate natural and/or artificial lighting
I.8: Drainage Adequate drainage facilities must be provided
I.9: Changing facilities Adequate changing facilities must be provided where necessary
Schedule 1, Chapter II: Specific requirements in rooms where foodstuffs are prepared, treated or processed (excluding dining areas and those premises specified in Chapter III) Equipment & facilities Actions
II.1: Rooms where food is actually prepared, treated or processed Floors, walls, ceilings and surfaces (which come into contact with food) must be adequately maintained, easy to clean and, where necessary, disinfect Keep all surfaces, fixtures and fittings hygienic to prevent contamination of food
II.2: Cleaning and disinfecting of tools, utensils and equipment Provide adequate facilities, including hot and cold water, for cleaning and, where necessary, disinfecting tools and equipment Clean and disinfect tools and equipment to ensure food safety
II.3: Washing of food Where appropriate provide adequate facilities for washing food. Supply with hot and/or cold water as required Wash food properly where necessary
Schedule 1, Chapter III: Requirements for movable and/or temporary premises (such as marquees, market stalls, mobile sales vehicles), premises used primarily as a private dwelling, premises used occasionally for catering purposes, and vending machines Equipment & facilities Actions
III.1: Requirements for premises and vending machines The siting, design and construction must aim to avoid contamination of food and the harbouring of pests Keep clean and in good repair to avoid food contamination
III.2(a): Working practices for movable or temporary premises Provide appropriate facilities for personal hygiene Take all reasonable practical steps to avoid the risk of contamination of food or ingredients
III.2(b): Surfaces Surfaces in contact with food must be easy to clean and, where necessary, disinfect Take all reasonable practical steps to avoid the risk of contamination of food or ingredients
III.2(c) & (d): Cleaning of utensils and foodstuffs Adequate provision must be made for cleaning foodstuffs, and for the cleaning and, where necessary, disinfecting of utensils and equipment Take all reasonable practical steps to avoid the risk of contamination of food or ingredients
III.2(e): Hot and cold water supply An adequate supply of hot and/or cold potable water must be available Take all reasonable practical steps to avoid the risk of contamination of food or ingredients
III.2(f): Waste storage and disposal Adequate arrangements must be made for the storage and disposal of waste Take all reasonable practical steps to avoid the risk of contamination of food or ingredients
Schedule 1, Chapter IV: Transport Equipment & facilities Actions
IV.1: Containers and vehicles used for the transport of food Where necessary their design must allow them to be adequately cleaned and disinfected Keep clean and in good order to prevent contamination
IV.2: Dedicated containers and vehicles used for bulk transport of food in liquid, granular or powder form Containers or vehicles used must be reserved for food only and marked as such, when there is a risk of contamination Do not use the containers or vehicles to transport anything other than food if this may result in contamination
IV.3: Containers or vehicles used for different foods or for both food and non-food products Where necessary separate different products effectively to protect against the risk of contamination
IV.4: Where different products have been carried in the same containers Effectively clean them between loads to avoid the risk of contamination
IV.5: Minimising the risk of contamination Foodstuffs in conveyances or containers must be placed so as to minimise the risk of contamination
Schedule 1, Chapter V: Equipment requirements Equipment & facilities Actions
V.1: Equipment requirements Articles, fittings and equipment that can come into contact with food shall be made of such materials and maintained so that they, and the surrounding areas, can be kept clean and, where necessary, disinfected. All equipment and surfaces that come into contact with food must be kept clean.
Schedule 1, Chapter VI: Food waste Equipment & facilities Actions
VI.1: Food and other waste Do not allow food and other waste to gather in food rooms, unless this is unavoidable for the proper functioning of your food business
VI.2: Containers for food and other waste Containers must be able to be closed unless the environmental health services are satisfied that this is not appropriate. They must be kept in good condition and, where necessary, be easy to clean and disinfect
VI.3: Arrangements for the storage and removal of refuse Refuse stores to be designed and constructed to be easily cleaned and to prevent pests gaining access Arrange for the proper periodic removal of the refuse and keep the area clean; protect against pests and contamination generally
Schedule 1, Chapter VII: Water supply Equipment & facilities Actions
VII.1: Water supply There must be an adequate supply of potable (drinking) water Where necessary for food safety use potable water to prevent contamination
VII.2: Ice Where appropriate, ice must be made from potable water to prevent contamination. Ice should be stored and handled carefully to protect it from contamination
Schedule 1, Chapter VIII: Personal hygiene Equipment & facilities Actions
VIII.1: Personal hygiene Food handlers must wear suitable clean and, where appropriate, protective clothing Everyone in a food handling area must maintain a high level of personal cleanliness
VIII.2: Infected food handlers No-one who is suffering from (or a carrier of) a disease which could be transmitted through food should work in a food handling area
Schedule 1, Chapter IX: Provisions applicable to foodstuffs Equipment & facilities Actions
IX.1: Raw materials No raw materials or ingredients should be accepted if known or suspected of being contaminated and which would still be unfit after normal sorting or processing
IX.2: Protection of raw materials from contamination At any stage of the business operation food must be protected from contamination likely to render it unfit for human consumption
Schedule 1, Chapter X: Training Equipment & facilities Actions
X.1: Training All food handlers must be supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters to a level appropriate to their job

‘Where appropriate’ and ‘where necessary’ mean for the purposes of ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of food.


(last updated 21st December 2004 by EMM)


The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2005 come into force on 1st January 2006.

Visit the following for more information:




All food business proprietors will have to ensure that:

Food handlers are supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activities: and

Those responsible for developing and maintaining procedures based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) principles or for the operation of relevant guides have received adequate training in the application of the HACCP principles.


HACCP is an abbreviation short for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points.

HACCP is a science based food safety management system for systematically identifying hazards and risks of food production and the implementation of cost-effective controls and monitoring procedures at points critical to food safety.


A food handler may be defined as any person who directly handles packaged or unpackaged food, food equipment and utensils, or food contact surfaces.


Supervision: being in charge of an employee.

Instruction: Teaching or an authoritative order on how to use or operate something.

Training: Learning, plus knowledge and understanding which is then put into correct demonstrable practice.

Competence: The ability to perform actions/procedures effectively in the workplace.


It is suggested that you and your managers receive an appropriate level of food hygiene training otherwise you will find it difficult to manage food safety within your business.


If you run a food business you will be responsible for identifying any training and instruction needs of food handlers. You will have to determine how these are met. The measures put in to place should ensure that all food handlers have sufficient knowledge and competence to enable them to handle foods safely. What is appropriate in one business may not be appropriate in another.

Either you or the person responsible for the development and maintenance of the HACCP based food safety management procedures should receive adequate training in the application of HACCP principles.

The nature and type of supervision necessary will depend upon the number of food handlers within the business, the nature of their work and current training and competence levels.

If you have a high turnover of staff effective supervision and instruction will be of particular importance.


The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2005 which come into force on 1st January 2006 do not specify the need to hold a qualification in order to comply.


The methods of instruction and/or training are a matter for the business to decide. A course of formal instruction is not stipulated in the regulations.

Appropriate measures must be taken by the food business owners for food handlers who do not speak English as a first language, have learning difficulties, special educational needs, literacy needs, etc.


The timing and instruction delivery is a matter for each food business to determine.



Qualification and Curriculum Authority www.qca.org.uk

The Sector Skills Council www.people1st.co.uk

Examination bodies such as the following are developing a new range of food safety qualifications which will be available during 2006 :




Your industry or trade association

Your local authority environmental health department such as www.rbkc.gov.uk


Appendix A

Product-specific regulations

The Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995. Ref: S.I. 539.

The Meat Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1994. Ref: S.I. 3082.

The Minced Meat and Meat Preparation Directive (in draft form as of July 1995).

The Wild Game Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1993 (in draft form as of July 1995).

The Poultry Meat, Farmed Game Bird Meat and Rabbit Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995. Ref: S.I. 540.

The Dairy Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1995. Ref S.I. 1086.

The Dairy Products (Hygiene) (Scotland) Regulations 1995. Ref S.I. 1372.

The Egg Products Regulations 1993. Ref S.I. 1520.

The Food Safety (Fishery Products) Regulations 1992. Ref: S.I. 3163.

The Food Safety (Fishery Products) (Derogations) Regulations 1992. Ref: S.I. 1507.

The Food Safety (Fishery Products) (Import Conditions and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1994. Ref: S.I. 2783.

The Food Safety (Live Bivalve Molluscs and Other Shellfish) Regulations 1992. Ref: S.I. 3164.

The Food Safety (Live Bivalve Molluscs and Other Shellfish) (Import Conditions and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1994. Ref: S.I. 2782.

The Food Safety (Live Bivalve Molluscs) (Derogations) Regulations 1992. Ref: S.I. 1508.

The Food Safety (Fishery Products on Fishing Vessels) Regulations 1992. Ref: S.I. 3165.

The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2005

The Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2005

The Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2005

The Food Hygiene (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2005

Those published 25 October 2007 are:

These join the following implementing legislation:

On 22 December 2005 the Commission published the first suite of remaining implementing and transitional regulations in the EU Official Journal. The regulations are:

This followed on 14 October 2005:

National legislation in the form of a Statutory Instrument (SI) in England, and equivalent legislation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is required to give effect to the EU regulations. This broadly covers:

The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/14) came into force on 11 January 2006 (separate but similar national legislation also came into force that day in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.) The national legislation in all four UK countries also applied the provisions of the EU Microbiological Criteria Regulation. The legislation can be found on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website, via the link below.

The Official Feed and Food Controls (England) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/15) also applied from 11 January 2006. These regulations apply the EU Official Feed and Food Controls Regulation (OFFC) in England. The EU OFFC Regulation sets out general requirements for competent authorities that are responsible for checking that businesses comply with feed and food legislation and also animal health and welfare rules. It also sets out the role of the Commission's Food and Veterinary Office.

The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2005 were in force from only 1 January 2006 until 10 January 2006. A full explanation as to why was provided in a letter issued 23 December 2005 to stakeholders the letter (see below) highlighted the effects resulting from a delay in publication of the EU implementing measures and transitional arrangements late in 2005.



Copies of the above Regulations are available from the HMSO Publications Centre at the address in Appendix B below.

Appendix B

Publications & contact details

Council Directive 93/43/EEC of 14 June 1993 on the hygiene of foodstuffs
Department of Health
Room 631B
Skipton House
80 London Road
Elephant and Castle

The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 — Ref: S.I. 1763
HMSO Publications Centre
PO Box 276

Code of Practice on Food Hygiene Inspections (Code of Practice No. 9)
HMSO Publications Centre
PO Box 276

A Template — Industry Guides to Good Hygiene Practice
Department of Health
PO Box 410
LS23 7LN
fax number for orders only (01937) 845381

Food Hazards and Your Business
Department of Health
PO Box 410
LS23 7LN
fax number for orders only (01937) 845381

The booklet version of this page, A guide to the General Food Hygiene Regulations
Department of Health
PO Box 410
LS23 7LN
fax number for orders only (01937) 845381

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