Food Safety Act 1990

The Food Safety Act 1990 is the framework for all food legislation that came after it across England, Wales, and Scotland. The first major piece of food regulation, it established that food businesses were wholly responsible for the safety of the food they sold. The regulations centred around food being labelled accurately and that nothing was added that could cause harm. The main responsibilities covered by the Food Safety Act include:


  • Not including or removing anything in food or treating it in a way which means it would be damaging to the health of people eating it.
  • That the food business sells its products of the nature, substance, and quality which customers would expect.
  • The rule that all food is labelled and presented in a way that is not false or misleading.


The following year, The Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 came into effect for Northern Ireland – covering the same regulations and guidance.