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Food law is the branch of legislation that covers all sectors of the food chain, including feed production, primary production, food processing, storage, transport and retail sale of food & beverages. Food legislation is primarily set to ensure food safety, hygiene, quality, and more recently sustainability. It establishes procedures for emergency situations such as alerts, product withdrawals and recalls. It regulates the communication of food information both to consumers and b2b, through rules concerning labelling, presentation and advertising.
Food Law Basics
European and Italian Food Law
Food is governed both by Italian and European food laws. General food law requirements, especially related to food safety, food labelling and food composition are harmonized at EU level. However, national regulations, laws and interpretations are also applicable and relevant. Italian and European food legislation are strictly intertwined and frequently overlap, making the interpretation of the laws particularly complicated. Commission notices, national bulletins and circular letters, and established jurisprudence both by the European Court of Justice and by national judicial authorities are essential in understanding the practical application and the nuances of food law in Member States.
Enforcement & Sanctions
The management of the production, distribution and administering of food & beverages can set forth a wide variety of controls. In spite of the efforts to harmonize food legislation inside the European Union, however, each country maintains different sanctioning systems for food related problems. Since food is such an important part of the national culture, in Italy all food related issues are taken quite seriously. Some breaches of the law are punished with regulatory sanctions, whereas most violations are punished as crimes.
Recent Food Law Posts
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