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Meat Hygiene Legislation

The European Community's food and feed hygiene legislation (The Hygiene Package) came into effect across all Member States from 1 January 2006. The Hygiene Package revises and consolidates legislation in relation to food and feed hygiene along with the production, control and marketing of products of animal origin and animal health issues in relation to the production of those products.

The Hygiene Package was motivated by the necessity to ensure high levels of public health protection in relation to food production. The Package also simplifies the range of complicated and often overlapping legislation that had evolved in this area over the past 30 or so years. The underlying philosophy is that food producers should bear full responsibility for the safety of the food they produce.

The Hygiene Package was given further effect in Irish law by the European Communities (Food and Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 910 of 2005). These regulations have been updated and replaced by the European Communities (Food and Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 432 of 2009) and more recently European Union (Food and Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No 22 of 2020).

The regulations require food business operators that are primary producers of food products to apply for registration and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is a registering authority for this purpose.