Food law

Blake Morgan provides specialist legal advice on food law to businesses of all sizes across the whole food chain, from sources of food to waste disposal.

Main areas of practice

Our food lawyers are legal experts on all aspects of regulatory compliance and regulatory enforcement relating to food.  

We advise food businesses about the law relating to general food safety, contaminants, supplements, additives, novel foods, genetically modified foods, foods for particular nutritional uses/food for specific groups and animal feed.

In addition, our lawyers can advise on diverse matters such as:

  • Products on the borderline between medicines and food regulation
  • Food quality
  • Labelling and information, advertising
  • Health and nutrition claims
  • Packaging and food contact materials
  • Marketing standards
  • Food hygiene

If your business is unfortunate enough to find itself the subject of an investigation, enforcement notice or prosecution by a local authority or other regulator, we can provide advice in connection with statutory interviews and representation in court if a prosecution follows.

We flag up to businesses in the food industry any proposed or forthcoming changes in food legislation emanating either from the EU or from the UK and provide advice so that they can anticipate the changes and build them into their commercial processes.

We work closely with the firm's transactional teams in providing support during the sale and purchase of businesses in the food industry, undertaking due diligence checks and using our experience of food law to negotiate and draft indemnities and warranties.

Clients 

Our experienced lawyers provide legal advice for businesses involved in agriculture and horticulture, fishing, manufacturing, processing, distribution, warehousing, catering, leisure, wholesale, retail and waste disposal. 

Significant experience 

Examples of how we have helped clients include:

  • Defending a large food producer against charges of incorrect labelling of its sausages.
  • Advising a small family business on meat content of pasties.
  • Advising and representing a food manufacturer in connection with organic labelling during a trading standards investigation and interview under caution.
  • Advising and representing a food manufacturer in connection with an investigation and prosecution in relation to food labelling issues arising out of the use of nutritional claims.
  • Advising on permitted ingredients under jam compositional legislation.
  • Advising a food manufacturer on food additive legislation.
  • Advising a food importer on health claims on foods.
  • Representing a pub restaurant on an investigation and prosecution in connection with a failure to declare gluten free products correctly on its menu.
  • Advising a holiday park on whether it need to declare abv values in relation to beer advertised on its menus.
  • Due diligence advice to a food manufacturer in the course of a transaction to purchase a plant for the manufacture of a novel food.

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

230% increase in allergen incidents reported by FSA

News

The FSA has published its Annual Report on Incidents. This report examines the 1,514 contamination incidents involving foods, feeds and the food-related environment reported to it in 2015.

Changes to indications relating to gluten content of food

News

The legal requirements relating to the voluntary indication of the absence or reduced presence of gluten in food, have been changed.

New 'Novel Foods' regulation

News

The EU's legislative process has approved a final draft of a new regulation on novel foods. The draft regulation is likely to become law in the near future, with most of it coming into force two years later.

An open and shut case

John Mitchell explains the guidelines around food recall laws and the impact product recalls can have on a company.

Brexit: the implications for food law

Following the vote to leave the EU, there has been considerable speculation as to which EU laws will continue to apply once the UK has actually left the EU. This article considers the implications for food legislation.

The end of PARNUTS and changes to the "gluten free" rules

On 20 July 2016, Directive 2009/39/EC on food for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTS) is repealed and replaced by a new regime under Regulation (EU) 609/2013 on food for specific groups (FSG).

Change in status for sports foods on the horizon

Changes are imminent to the regulation of food marketed for use by people engaged in sport.