Government set to simplify 60 regulations governing the food industry

The Government is set to scrap or simplify 60 regulations governing the food and hospitality industry, following feedback from the industry.

Tourism minister John Penrose announced the move this week after the public and businesses made 600 comments as part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge.

Proposals include:

  • Reducing bureaucracy in licensing by making application forms simpler and giving local areas more flexibility over late-night refreshment licensing, the process for obtaining a Temporary Event Notice (TEN)
  • Scrapping the regulations covering the location and design of no-smoking signs.
  • Changing regulations to make clear that properties rented out for less than four months in a year do not need Energy Performance Certificates.
  • Tackling excess charges for inspection of private water supplies through increased transparency.

The Government also announced a programme for the improvement of food regulations in a bid to benefit smaller businesses and new entrants. Measures include:

  • A rationalisation of food labelling and composition regulations – reducing the number from 34 to 17 – and a new “food labelling map”, in a bid to make it easier for businesses to know the rules they need to follow.
  • A streamlining of food safety regulations, reducing the number of regulations from 34 to 11. This will include the scrapping of a number of regulations where protection is provided under other legislation, such as rules on arsenic, chloroform, and ungraded eggs. Remaining legislation will be consolidated so that most food businesses will only need to look at one regulation.
  • The removal of unnecessary “gold plating” of European regulations that cost businesses money, such as requirements on minimum hardness of bottled water and the fortification of margarine.
  • A consultation on requirements for child minders and groups in village halls to register separately as food businesses, including the option of removing the requirements.

Verner Wheelock Associates helps food businesses both large and small to meet the legislative requirements for food safety. For more information on issues affecting food businesses such as food labelling, food safety and HACCP training visit

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