Food Legislation




  • Government worldwide regulate foods with these

  • general objectives:

  • •To ensure the safety and wholesomeness of the food supply

  • •To prevent economic fraud or deception

  • •To inform consumers about the nutritional contents of foods

  • The food industry looks to government to set high

  • standards and to enforce these standards in order

  • to protect itself against unethical competition

  • Recent years have seen an increased concern by the public over the safety of foods, especially with respect to intentional and unintentional chemical additives and the incidence of microbial food-borne diseases.

  • Arguments have both defended and attacked food production practices including the use of food additives, pesticides, biotechnology, and irradiation.

  • In Turkey, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock is responsible for inspecting food plants for ensuring food safety.

  • In the United States the primary responsibility for ensuring the safety and labeling of foods lies with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for most foods and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for meat and poultry products.

Food is considered adulterated if it:

  1. Contains poisons or harmful substances at high concentrations

  2. Contains filth, is decomposed or is otherwise unfit.

  3. Was prepared and handled under unsanitary conditions such that it may have become contaminated.

  4. Is derived from a diseased animal

  5. Was subjected to radiation, other than where permitted.

  1. Has any valuable constituent omitted

  2. Has a specified ingredient substituted by a nonspecified ingredient

  3. Has a concealed defect

  4. Is increased in bulk weight or reduced in its strength making it appear better then it is.

  5. Contains a coloring agent that is not approved or certified.

  • GMP: “Good Manufacturing Practice” defines requirements for acceptable sanitary operation in food plants.

  • GRAS: “Generally Recognized As Safe” . These are substances added to foods that have been shown to be safe based on a long history of common usage in food.

Typical GRAS substances include the common spices, natural seasonings, and numerous flavoring materials, baking powder chemicals, fruit and beverage acids etc.

Food Additives must meet the following additional requirements:

  • Intentional additives must perform an intended and useful function

  • Additives must not deceive consumers or conceal faulty ingredients or defects in manufacturing practices

  • An additive must not substantially reduce the food’s nutritional value.

  • An additive cannot be used to obtain an effect that could be obtained by otherwise good manufacturing practices

  • A method of analysis must exist with which to monitor the use of the additive in foods.


  • One of the main goals of governmental regulation of foods is ensuring that consumers are given complete and useful information about the food products they purchase.

  • This information is important for both economic and health reasons.

  • Ingredient labeling also helps people avoid foods to which they may be allergic.

The information to be supplied on the label:

  • Food Name

  • Net quantity of contents

  • Ingredients

  • Company name

  • Product Dates

  • Nutrition Information

  • Other information (Trademark or copyright symbols, religious symbols, bar code etc.)


  • In matters of international scope two important agencies are:

WHO – World Health Organization of the United Nations

FAO- Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

  • These are organized to increase and improve food resources, nutrition and health throughout the world.

The need for coordination in setting standards has long been recognized and in 1962 international body operating under the auspices of the United Nations through FAO/WHO was established and designated as the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

The object of this commission:

  • To develop international and regional food standards and publish them in a Codex Alimentarius.

  • To develop agreements on international standards and safety practices for foods and agricultural products.

JECFA- The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives sets standards for purity of food additives.

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