Draft Food (Jersey) Law 2022

produce section of a grocery store

The States of Jersey will debate the replacement of the current and outdated Food Safety (Jersey) Law which has been with us since England last won the Football World Cup in 1966, possibly an unintended but good omen for the current England team in Qatar.

The law, if passed, is intended to increase food security, and facilitate export and innovation within the food sector. Changes in food technology such as microwaves, blast chillers and sous vide, along with changes in production and storage techniques, require a Law which is not only up to date but can be updated as needed. We all have a greater interest in what we eat and regulation of labelling for method of production or for specific allergens or for ingredients such as palm oil is now expected by consumers.

A suite of notices will be introduced under the law which will allow a proportionate approach to regulation aimed to be less disruptive to, and more encouraging of, businesses while still protecting public health. Notices may range from a requirement to make minor physical improvements to reduce the risk of contamination, or, in the most extreme circumstances, a business to close until issues are dealt with. Businesses will be allowed to appeal to the Magistrate’s Court rather than the Royal Court, a more affordable and a more realistic option for small businesses.

The law will include flexibility to deal with potential changes in UK regulations so that controls can be put in place that are appropriate to Jersey. The introduction of Regulations and Orders where needed to deal with a rapidly changing food environment is designed to future proof the law from changes and, unless there is an urgent requirement for change these will be subject to consultation with local food businesses.

With a nod to food waste and the environment, the Minister for the Environment will have the powers to make sure that food, which cannot be sold, but is safe to eat can be offered to the charitable sector.

For further details, contact our Safety team at enquiry@lawatworkci.com or give us a call on 01534 887088.

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