The general hygiene requirements for all food business operators are laid down in Regulation (EC) 852/2004, which is a directly applicable law in all EU Member States. Food safety law is criminal law and is detailed and complex with a number of different regulations. Regulation (EC) 852/2004 is designed to ensure conditions that provide for the safe production of food.

This topic outlines the requirements for food hygiene controls from receipt of goods to consumption and for the food premises and equipment. Food business operators are also required to implement and maintain food safety management systems based on the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP); this means identifying specific food hazards of the business and ensuring controls are in place to remove the hazard or reduce the risk of harm.

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