History of Food Law in Ireland

History of Food Law in Ireland
  • Food law in Ireland dates back to the early 1800’s and has been continually augmented and amended over the years. Today, most if not all of our national food legislation derives from Ireland’s membership of the European Union. The negotiation of these laws and the responsibility to give legal effect to the decisions, directives and regulations agreed in Brussels rests with several Government Departments. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland is the single, regulatory authority with responsibility for the enforcement of food safety legislation in Ireland. This responsibility for enforcement is managed through a series of service contracts with official agencies.
  • Ireland’s food code is considerable in volume and ever evolving and consists of the various acts, regulations and orders made at national level as well as those directives and regulations made at EU level.
  • The foundation EU Legislation is;


EC Directive 852/2004 on the control of foodstuffs

  • Basic Principal – The Food Business Operator (Owner/Manager) has the following responsibilities.
  • Primary responsibility for food safety.
  • It is necessary to exercise control throughout the food chain from primary production.
  • Maintain a cold chain for products that cannot be stored at ambient.
  • Procedures based on HACCP and Good Hygiene Practice should be in place.
  • Follow guides to good practice.
  • Follow established guidelines for microbiological criteria and temperature control.
  • It is necessary to ensure that imported foods are of the same standard as those produced in the EU.

The chunk of the food safety responsibility lies with the Food Business Operator. However, each member of the food business who is a food worker has responsibilities vested upon in relation to the safe practices to be carried out so that public safety and well being is not endangered.


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