Sentencing individuals for food safety and food hygiene offences
Produced in partnership with Richard Heller of Drystone Chambers
Sentencing individuals for food safety and food hygiene offences

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Richard Heller of Drystone Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sentencing individuals for food safety and food hygiene offences
  • Status of case law
  • Using the food safety and food hygiene sentencing guidelines
  • Step one—determining the offence category
  • Step two—starting point and category range
  • Step three—review of any financial element of the sentence
  • Step four—further reductions in fine
  • Step five—reduction for guilty pleas
  • Step six—ancillary orders
  • Step seven—totality
  • more

This Practice Note reviews the parts of the Sentencing Council’s offence-specific guidelines which are used by the magistrates’ courts and Crown Courts in England and Wales when sentencing individuals for food safety and food hygiene offences. In accordance with section 125 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (CJA 2009), the courts must follow Sentencing Council guidelines in sentencing an offender unless ‘satisfied that it would be contrary to the interests of justice to do so’.

The Sentencing Council had previously published these offence-specific guidelines within the Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guideline but has now published them online (and not in PDF or paper format) separately as individual offence-specific guidelines for the magistrates’ courts and Crown Courts. These offence-specific guidelines supersede and replace the Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guideline PDF which has been archived.

For the sentencing of organisations for the same offences, see Practice Note: Sentencing organisations for food safety and food hygiene offences.

The Sentencing Council also publishes a number of overarching guidelines, which should be considered in respect of all sentencing exercises, see Practice Note: Sentencing. Among these, the General guideline—overarching principles (the General guideline) is specifically designed to be used in conjunction with offence-specific guidelines and covers seriousness as well as providing