In an article previously posted to this site entitled ‘Food Allergy Regulations’, we outlined the requirements of The Food Information Regulations 2014 in so far as they affect labelling and packaging requirements concerning ingredients known to cause allergic reactions.
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors now further considers food safety and outlines the extent to which the Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003 (‘the Regulations’) affect food supplements and their packaging.
These Regulations are designed to protect the public from manufacturers’ claims that such supplements may be consumed as substitutes for foods generally regarded as providing a normal proper balanced diet, even where such supplements have untested alleged health benefits and control the manner of packaging.
The team at Kangs Solicitors has vast experience and is highly regarded nationwide for assisting clients facing serious crime allegations of every nature, including those involving regulatory investigations and prosecutions carried out by the regulatory authorities, including the Food Standards Agency.
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The Offence | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
The Regulations provide:
9. If any person contravenes regulation 4, 5, 6 or 7 he shall be guilty of an offence.
Restriction on form in which food supplements are sold to the ultimate consumer
4. No person shall sell any food supplement to the ultimate consumer unless it is prepacked.
Prohibitions on sale relating to composition of food supplements
5. No person shall sell a food supplement in the manufacture of which a vitamin or mineral has been used unless that vitamin or mineral-
(a) is listed in column 1 of Schedule 1; and
(b) is in a form which-
(i) is listed in Schedule 2, and
(ii) meets the relevant purity criteria.
Restrictions on sale relating to labelling etc of food supplements
6.(1) No person shall sell a food supplement which is ready for delivery to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment, unless the name under which it is sold is ‘’food supplement’’.
(2) Without prejudice to the Food Labelling Regulations 1996(1), no person shall sell a food supplement which is ready for delivery to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment unless it is marked or labelled with the following particulars—
(a) the name of the category of any vitamin or mineral or other substance with a nutritional or physiological effect which characterises the product or an indication of the nature of that vitamin or mineral or other substance;
(b) the portion of the product recommended for daily consumption;
(c) a warning not to exceed the stated recommended daily dose;
(d) a statement to the effect that food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet;
(e) a statement to the effect that the product should be stored out of the reach of young children; and
(f) the amount of any vitamin or mineral or other substance with a nutritional or physiological effect which is present in the product.
Manner of marking or labelling
7. (1) No person shall sell any food supplement which –
(a) is ready for delivery to the ultimate consumer, or
(b) is ready for delivery to a catering establishment and is prepacked
unless the particulars with which it is required to be marked or labelled by virtue of regulation 6(2) appear—
- on the packaging;
- on a label attached to the packaging; or
- on a label which is clearly visible through the packaging,
save that where the sale is otherwise than to the ultimate consumer such particulars may, alternatively, appear only on the commercial documents relating to the food supplement where it can be guaranteed that such documents, containing all such particulars, either accompany the food supplement to which they relate or were sent before, or at the same time as, delivery of the food supplement, and provided always that the particulars required by regulation 5(a), (c) and (e) of the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 are also marked or labelled on the outermost packaging in which that food supplement is sold.’
Potential Defences | Kangs Food Offences Defence Solicitors
The Regulations also provide:
‘Defence in relation to exports
10. In any proceedings for an offence under these Regulations it shall be a defence for the person charged to prove—
(a) that the food in respect of which the offence is alleged to have been committed was intended for export to a country which has legislation analogous to these Regulations and that the food complies with that legislation; and
(b) in the case of export to a member State, that the legislation complies with the provisions of Directive 2002/46.’
Penalties On Conviction | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
Breaches of the Regulations are dealt with at the Magistrates’ Court and a conviction can result in an unlimited fine.
Who Can I Contact for Advice & Help? | Kangs Food Hygiene Solicitors
If you are subject to any investigation by The Food Standards Agency, local authority or other prosecuting authority in connection with your provision of food or food services you should seek expert advice immediately. Please do not hesitate to contact the team at Kangs Solicitors through any of the following who will be pleased to speak to you: