“BCL’s ‘extremely capable’ team is noted for its ‘clear strength in regulatory investigations’. “
BCL’s food safety specialists have extensive experience in acting for a wide range of food businesses and individuals in the food sector, from multinational supermarkets and large restaurant groups operated by Michelin-starred chefs to smaller operations facing the attention of Environmental Health Officers.
There are myriad food safety laws controlling the production, distribution, packaging and sale of food with which businesses must comply. Our comprehensive experience covers issues including food safety, hygiene, hazard analysis and critical control points (“HACCP”), labelling, packaging, traceability and allergies.
If a business is faced with an investigation by a regulator, we provide practical, commercial and clear advice throughout the process. We advise regarding initial site inspections and investigative powers, enforcement notices (for example, Hygiene Improvement Notices and Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notices) and PACE interviews under caution.
We also advise regarding prosecutions for the numerous criminal offences which can be committed by companies and individuals. The recent inclusion of Food Safety offences in a Sentencing Council Definitive Guideline means that the potential penalties for non-compliance are now higher than ever before.
BCL has particular expertise in providing advice in challenging and time pressured situations. We are renowned for being involved in high profile matters with an associated public interest and are adept at providing early strategic advice in order to respond to such complex reputational emergencies, ensuring minimal damage to the business and its employees.
Our specialist team provides advice and representation to food business operators in areas such as:
- Food safety and hygiene investigations, including the powers of Environmental Health Officers
- Responding to enforcement notices, such as Hygiene Improvement Notices and Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notices
- Requests to attend formal PACE interviews under caution
- Product recalls of unsafe food
- Prosecutions of companies and individuals