Legal Updates


Food Law – Food Standards Agency - Food Hygiene - Cows' Milk - The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 February 2013


The Food Standards Agency (“FSA”) recently confirmed its intention to sue Selfridges Retail Limited (the “Company”) for breaches of food hygiene regulations.

In 2011, the Company installed vending machines dispensing raw cows’ milk at its flagship store in London. After carrying out a thorough investigation, the FSA decided to prosecute the Company as well as the farmer who supplied the milk.

The Law

As per Regulation 32 of The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006, there are restrictions on the sale of raw cows’ milk intended for direct human consumption. 

To appreciate how the restrictions have been applied to the Company as well as the farmer in this case, it is necessary to understand the meaning of the following phrase, which is used in the legislation: an “occupier of a production holding”.

“occupier” means any person carrying on the business of producing or handling raw cows' milk

“production holding” means premises at which milk-producing cows are kept


With regards to the farmer, the relevant restriction under Schedule 6 Paragraph 2(3) applies to an “occupier of a production holding” and states that raw cows’ milk intended for direct human consumption can only be sold at or from the farm premises where the cows are maintained.

In relation to the Company, the FSA has sought charges under Schedule 6 Paragraph 2(1), which applies to “any person other than the occupier of a production holding” for simply selling raw cows’ milk intended for human consumption.

The hearing date is set for 6 February 2013.  

For any queries on food law issues, you may contact us by email Visit 

© RT COOPERS, 2013. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.



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