Food Safety Act 1990 offences
Food Safety Act 1990 offences

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Food Safety Act 1990 offences
  • Rendering food injurious to health
  • Selling food not of the nature, substance or quality demanded
  • Falsely describing or presenting food
  • Due diligence and fault of another person defences to FSA 1990 offences
  • Sentencing for FSA 1990 offences

Rendering food injurious to health

Every London borough council, district council or non-metropolitan county council is the 'food authority' for the purposes of enforcing the powers and duties under the Food Safety Act 1990 (FSA 1990). By FSA 1990, s 34, an offence under FSA 1990, ss 7, 14 and 15 may only be prosecuted within three years of the commission of the offence or within one year after its discovery by the prosecutor, whichever is earlier.

For the meaning of ‘discovery’, see Tesco Stores Limited v London Borough of Harrow in which it was held that an offence is discovered at the time when 'all the facts material to found the relevant charge under the Act were disclosed to the appropriate officer.'

The Divisional Court went on to hold that:

'the question to be asked was whether the facts disclosed, objectively considered, would have led the prosecuting authority to have reasonable grounds to believe that the offence might have been committed by some person who had been identified to it'

This test was reaffirmed in R v Gale.

See: Decision to prosecute for Food Safety Act 1990 offences.

It is an offence to make food to be sold for human consumption which could cause injury to a person's health under FSA 1990. This offence is an either way offence and can be tried in