New sentencing guidelines for food safety offences

| November 3, 2015

law booksThe Sentencing Council for England and Wales has published new guidelines for corporate manslaughter, health and safety and food safety and hygiene offences. The guidelines are designed to ensure a “consistent, fair and proportionate” approach.

From the beginning of February 2016, larger companies with a turnover of more than £50 million could be fined up to £20million if convicted of corporate manslaughter and up to £3 million if convicted of the most serious food safety and hygiene offences.

This represents an increase in fines for serious offences and for larger businesses, but it is not anticipated that there will be higher fines across the board. Previously some offenders were considered to have received fines that did not reflect the crimes committed.

Food safety offences covered by the new sentencing guidelines include causing food poisoning outbreaks through unsafe food preparation, selling unsafe food products and inadequate traceability and recall procedures.

View the Sentencing Council news release here.

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