There’s never an excuse for poor food hygiene, and I’m as fussy as anyone about where I eat, but I often represent food businesses in breach of food safety law.

As a regulatory defence lawyer, it’s my job, when businesses face prosecution, to make sure the court knows the full picture before sentencing. Sometimes a business has done all it can to prevent the offence being committed, and the sentence it faces should reflect that.

My work covers all aspects of food safety, food hygiene and food labelling issues. I recently represented a small business which faced three charges, each of which could have carried a £25,000 fine. My client pleaded guilty, but I was able to bring the fine down to £1,500 per offence, making a crucial difference to the business.

Because good food hygiene is so important, local authorities carry out regular inspections and have extensive powers to close businesses down where there is an imminent risk to public health. How you respond to an investigation can have a big impact on the outcome, so do take legal advice as soon as possible if a problem arises.

Being an experienced advocate means that I can deal with cases on a cost effective basis because I don’t need to bring anyone else in.

I’ve acted for all kinds of food businesses, from major manufacturers through to independent takeaways. Some have excellent systems in place that have not worked on a particular occasion, leading to enforcement action, but others need to learn the ropes properly. Either way, I’m glad to play my part in helping businesses to comply with the law.

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