The EU Food Hygiene Law
On January 1, 2006, a new era in food hygiene law began. As part of the paradigm shift implemented by the EU, namely from directive to regulation law, all regulations have applied in full since that time. The food hygiene regulation previously in force in Germany has been superseded by the new EU law since then.
This means that all businesses that process and market food (including small and medium-sized enterprises!) have been legally obliged to document the prevention or control of critical control points: Everything that is not documented is considered not to have occurred, or is "legally non-existent."
What does HACCP mean?
HACCP stands for "Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points" and refers to the analysis of hazards and control of critical points - at all stages of the preparation, processing, manufacture, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution, treatment, and sale of food.
Who is the regulation legally binding for?
The HACCP regulation applies to all businesses in which at least one of the activities mentioned is carried out. It is irrelevant whether the facilities have a commercial purpose or not.
What does the HACCP system require?
Businesses that process and market food must identify the critical points for food safety in accordance with the principles of the HACCP system and ensure that appropriate safety measures are defined, implemented, adhered to, verified, and documented.
What does HACCP mean in practice for kitchens?
The individual work steps must be fully documented, the critical control points defined, controlled, and documented in a comprehensible way for the food monitoring authorities (control authorities). This requires knowledge that, according to the regulation, everyone handling food must have. This means that every employee must be trained and motivated in matters of food hygiene and must implement this in their area of responsibility.
Definition of "critical control points" in kitchens:
Point or procedure at which a loss of control over compliance with limit values can lead to an unacceptable health risk for diners or employees.
What can happen if the regulations of the new regulation law are not followed?
If significant hygiene deficiencies are identified by control authorities that are not eliminated within 24 hours, a fine of between 400 and 600 euros may be imposed.
Missing training must be provided within two weeks.
Structural deficiencies are given a deadline of four weeks.
After that, criminal proceedings may begin, which can end with high fines or even the closure of the restaurant business.
Those who market food that is harmful to health can be sentenced to up to three years in prison.
The benefits of food safety through an HACCP system
Include fulfilling legal requirements
Beherrschung oder Minimierung des Risikos von Lebensmittelerkrankungen oder Lebensmittelvergiftungen
Controlling or minimizing the risk of foodborne illness or food poisoning
Reducing costs by extending the shelf life of food
Increasing competitiveness, and gaining new customers by strengthening customer trust
Source: HACCP Concept Food Hygiene