Foods Standards Agency Investigations
24 hour bespoke service offering advice and assistance.
Why Taylor Law?
Substantial regulation exists in the area of food standards. In the event that you are suspected of wrongdoing, your business could be closed down.
At Taylor Law we can help you challenge decisions made against you and represent you during investigations and in any court proceedings.
Practical advice from legal experts
We understand how disruptive it is to face an investigation or have your business fully or partially shut down as well as how damaging it can be to your reputation. Our team can intervene on your behalf to negotiate with the inspectors and answer any questions they may have.
We will ensure that your rights are not breached and that those conducting the investigation do not exceed their authority. If you are issued with a notice, we can appeal this where appropriate.
If food is seized but not condemned, you may be entitled to compensation and we will ensure that this is paid to you.
Time is often of particular importance in dealing with matters relating to food and we always make sure that we work proactively to resolve matters without delay.
Food Standards Agency and local authority powers
Environmental health and trading standards officers from the local authority have the right to enter a food business unannounced to inspect food, premises and processes. They are overseen by the
Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the FSA’s law enforcement arm, the National Food Crime Unit.
They have the power to detain food, ie. to require it to remain where it is, unsold, for up to 21 days while they investigate, as well as the authority to seize food and documents.
The authorities have the power to issue improvement notices, usually related to hygiene standards, emergency prohibition orders, to close down all or part of a business, or to agree voluntary procedures with individuals and businesses.
Criminal proceedings can also be brought, with financial penalties and, for the most serious offences, imprisonment if found guilty.
Trading Standards officers look into issues such as food labelling, whether ingredients are accurate and legal and whether claims made about food items are truthful.
Environmental Health officers are concerned with matters of hygiene and microbial contamination.
The National Food Crime Unit focuses on seven types of food crime, as follows:
- Theft of food, drink or feed
- Illegal processing, to include using unapproved premises and unauthorised techniques
- Waste diversion, where items meant for disposal are returned to the food chain
- Adulteration, where a foreign substance is added to lower costs or fake a higher quality
- Substitution, where a food or ingredient is replaced with an inferior substance
- Misrepresentation, where marketing or labelling is incorrect
- Document fraud, using false documents to sell or market a fraudulent or substandard product.
Our food crime legal services
We act for clients across the whole range of FSA and local authority issues including fraud, food labelling issues and other criminal offences. Our services include the following:
- Defending you in the event of a prosecution
- Challenging emergency prohibition and improvement notices
- Appealing decisions
- Appealing food hygiene rating scores
- Advising you in respect of ongoing investigations
- Representing you during an interview under caution
- Advising you in respect of compliance with food regulations
- Representing you to apply for approvals or certificates of competence for your food business.
- If your operation is under investigation, it is advisable to seek legal representation as a matter of urgency.
Local authority or FSA investigations into your food business can be damaging and time-consuming.
At Taylor Law we will intervene early to minimise difficulties and disruption and ensure that your rights are safeguarded.
We have an excellent track record of success in working with clients in respect of food-related investigations and legal action, with expert civil and criminal defence solicitors in Leeds, Middlesbrough and London who can step in immediately to advise and represent you.
For an initial discussion, ring us on 0113 532 8100 (Leeds), 01642 221 108 (Middlesbrough) or 0203 780 7646 (London) or fill in our Contact Form.
“Scott is the consummate professional, honest and trustworthy with all the right contacts. Successfully represented me in my Employment proceedings, can’t fault the man, he’s a credit to himself and the legal fraternity.”