Food Hygiene & Safety

Most business owners involved in the production and supply of food know that food safety is paramount. They would have spent time and resources building the reputation of their business and seeking to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation. We recognise how worrying an investigation, enforcement proceedings or prosecution could have on a business in terms of financial impact and reputational damage.

Once the regulator seeks to investigate or take enforcement action, it is important that you are fully advised on your legal position and devise a strategy to move forward. The strategy that is devised in the early stages could have a significant impact on the outcome of the case; an effective strategy as well as on-going discussions with the regulator could lead to a decision not to prosecute. At Nockolds, we advise you on your position and devise a strategy to minimise the impact any action could have on your business or you personally, as a director.

In devising a strategy or a defence to prosecution, we will work with you to consider a due diligence defence and in doing so gather and review evidence and witness statements to support your case.

How can we help you?

We have advised various food business operators following investigations by local authorities from those operating food warehouses to coffee shops.

Some of the ways we may be able to help you include:

  • Advise you on food safety law.
  • Respond to local authority investigations following food safety incidents and site inspections.
  • Challenge enforcement notices (hygiene improvement notices and hygiene emergency prohibition notices or orders).
  • Gather evidence.
  • Advise and assist you in dealing with requests to answer questions under caution.
  • Providing written statements.
  • Defending prosecutions for alleged breaches of food safety and hygiene law.
  • Negotiations and ongoing discussions with the regulator.

Recent Successes:

We have advised various businesses operating in the food industry following investigations by local authorities from those operating food warehouses to coffee shops.

Working with our client and the local authority to ensure our client’s premises were re-opened in less than a week of a hygiene emergency prohibition notice being served.

Preparing for and arranging representation at a hearing at the Magistrates Court to hear the local authority's application for a hygiene prohibition order. Given the nature of the case, we were required to prepare for the hearing in less than two days and our strategy of focusing on the client’s mitigation meant the order was in place for the shortest amount of time possible.

We have advised clients on answering questions under caution and on some occasions, this has led to no further action being taken by the local authority to date.

Negotiating a caution on behalf of a company to avoid prosecution of both the company and the directors personally.

Working with our clients and the local authority to comply with improvement notices.