Search Legislation

Honey Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

What Version

 Help about what version
  • Latest available (Revised)
  • Original (As made)

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made). This item of legislation is currently only available in its original format.

Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2003 No. 383

FOOD

Honey Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

Made

20th August 2003

Coming into operation

1st October 2003

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety(1) in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Articles 15(1)(e), 16(1), 25(1) and (3), 26(3) and 47(2) of the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991(2) and of all other powers enabling it in that behalf, having had regard in accordance with Article 47(3A) of the said Order to relevant advice given by the Food Standards Agency and after consultation both as required by Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No.178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety(3) and in accordance with Article 47(3) and (3B) of the said Order, hereby makes the following Regulations:

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Honey Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 and shall come into operation on 1st October 2003.

Interpretation

2.—(1) In these Regulations –

“the 1996 Regulations” means the Food Labelling Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(4);

“the Agency” means the Food Standards Agency;

“brood” means any immature stage of the honeybee including the egg, larva and pupa and any honeybee which has not emerged from its cell in a honeycomb;

“catering establishment” means a restaurant, canteen, club, public house, school, hospital or similar establishment (including a vehicle or a fixed or mobile stall) where, in the course of a business, food is prepared for delivery to the ultimate consumer and is ready for consumption without further preparation;

“Directive 2001/110/EC” means Council Directive 2001/110/EC relating to honey(5);

“EEA Agreement” means the Agreement on the European Economic Area(6) signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992 as adjusted by the Protocol(7) signed at Brussels on 17th March 1993;

“EEA State” means a State which is a Contracting Party to the EEA Agreement;

“honey” means the natural sweet substance produced by Apis mellifera bees from the nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants or excretions of plant-sucking insects on the living parts of plants which the bees collect, transform by combining with specific substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store and leave in honeycombs to ripen and mature;

“ingredient” has the meaning assigned to it by the 1996 Regulations;

“labelling” has the meaning assigned to it by the 1996 Regulations;

“the Order” means the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991;

“preparation” includes manufacture and any form of processing or treatment; and

“reserved description”, as regards any specified honey product means any description specified in relation to that product in column 1 of Schedule 1 (as read with the Notes relating to that Schedule);

“sell” includes offer or expose for sale and includes have in possession for sale;

“specified honey product”, subject to paragraph (2), means any food specified in Column (2) of Schedule 1;

“ultimate consumer” means any person who buys otherwise than –

(a)

for the purpose of resale,

(b)

for the purposes of a catering establishment, or

(c)

for the purposes of a manufacturing business.

(2) Notwithstanding the fact that a food is specified in Column 2 of Schedule 1, it will only be treated as a specified honey product for the purpose of these Regulations –

(i)if it meets the relevant specifications contained in Schedule 2 as read with the notes relating to that Schedule, and

(ii)there has not been added to it any other ingredient and it is as far as possible free from organic or inorganic matters foreign to its composition.

(3) Any other expression used in both these Regulations and in Directive 2001/110 has the same meaning in these Regulations as in that Directive.

Reserved descriptions

3.  No person shall sell to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment any food with a label, whether or not attached to or printed on the wrapper or container, which bears, comprises or includes any reserved description or any derivative thereof or any word or description substantially similar thereto unless –

(a)such food is the specified honey product to which the reserved description relates;

(b)such description, derivative or word is used in such a context as to indicate explicitly or by clear implication that the substance to which it relates is only an ingredient of that food;

(c)such description, derivative or word is used in such a context as to indicate explicitly or by clear implication that such food is not and does not contain a specified honey product.

Labelling and description of specified honey products

4.—(1) Without prejudice to the generality of Part II of the 1996 Regulations, no person shall sell to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment any specified honey product unless it is marked or labelled with the following particulars –

(a)a reserved description of the product;

(b)in the case of baker’s honey, the words “intended for cooking only” which words shall appear on the label in close proximity to the product name;

(c)the country or countries of origin where the honey has been harvested save that if the honey originates in more than one Member State or third country the country of origin may be replaced with one of the following as appropriate –

(i)“blend of EC honeys”,

(ii)“blend of non-EC honeys”,

(iii)“blend of EC and non-EC honeys”;

(2) No person shall sell to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment any filtered honey or baker’s honey which is marked or labelled with information relating to floral or vegetable origin, regional, territorial or topographical origin or specific quality criteria.

(3) Where pursuant to note 2 of Schedule 1, the reserved description “honey” has been used in the product name of a compound foodstuff containing baker’s honey, no person shall sell such a compound foodstuff unless the list of ingredients includes the term “baker’s honey”.

Sale of filtered honey or baker’s honey in bulk containers or packs

5.—(1) No person shall sell any filtered honey or baker’s honey in bulk containers or packs unless such bulk containers and packs are labelled with their respective reserved description of the product and any trade documents clearly indicate the reserved description of the product.

(2) For the purpose of this paragraph trade documents includes all the documents relating to the sale, transportation, storage or delivery of the product.

Manner of marking or labelling

6.  Regulations 35, 36(1) and (5) and 38 of the 1996 Regulations (which relate to the manner of marking or labelling of food) shall apply to the particulars with which a specified honey product is required to be marked or labelled by regulations 4(1)(a) to (c) and (3) of these Regulations as if they were particulars with which a food is required to be marked or labelled by the 1996 Regulations.

Penalties and enforcement

7.—(1) Any person who contravenes regulation 3, 4 or 5 shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(2) Each district council shall enforce and execute these Regulations within its district.

Defence in relation to exports

8.  In any proceedings for an offence under these Regulations it shall be a defence for the person accused to prove –

(a)that the food in respect of which the offence is alleged to have been committed was intended for export to a country which has legislation analogous to these Regulations and that the food complies with that legislation; and

(b)in the case of export to an EEA State, that the legislation complies with the provisions of Directive 2001/110/EC.

Application of various provisions of the Order

9.  The following provisions of the Order shall apply for the purposes of these Regulations and any reference in those provisions to the Order shall be construed for the purposes of these regulations as a reference to these Regulations –

(a)Articles 2(4) and 3 (extended meaning of sale etc.);

(b)Article 4 (presumptions that food intended for human consumption);

(c)Article 19 (offences due to fault of another person);

(d)Article 20 (defence of due diligence) as it applies for the purposes of Article 7, 13 or 14 of the Order;

(e)Article 21 (defence of publication in the course of a business);

(f)Article 30(8) (which relates to documentary evidence);

(g)Article 34 (obstruction, etc., of officers);

(h)Article 36 (punishment of offences) in so far as it relates to offences under Article 34(1) and (2) as applied by paragraph (g).

Amendment and revocations

10.—(1) The Honey Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1976(8) are hereby revoked.

(2) The following entries relating to the Honey Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1976 shall be omitted –

(a)in the Food (Revision of Penalties and Mode of Trial) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(9), in Schedule 1;

(b)in the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 (Consequential Modifications) Order (Northern Ireland) 1991(10), in Part I to Schedule 1, and in Schedules 2, 3 and 5;

(c)in the Food Safety (Exports) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1991(11), in the Schedule;

(d)in the Food (Forces Exemptions) (Revocations) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992(12), in the Schedule;

(e)in the Food Labelling Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(13), in Schedule 9.

(3) In the Miscellaneous Food Additives Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(14), in Schedule 6, for the reference to Directive 74/409/EEC there shall be substituted a reference to Directive 2001/110/EC.

(4) In the 1996 Regulations, regulation 4(2)(c) is hereby revoked.

Transitional provisions

11.  In any proceedings for an offence under these Regulations it shall be a defence for the person charged to prove that –

(a)the food concerned was marked or labelled before 1st August 2004; and

(b)the matters constituting the alleged offence would not have constituted an offence under the Honey Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1976 as they stood immediately before the coming into operation of these Regulations.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety on 20th August 2003.

L.S.

W. B. Smith

A Senior Officer of the

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

Regulation 2(1)

SCHEDULE 1SPECIFIED HONEY PRODUCTS AND THEIR RESERVED DESCRIPTIONS

Column (1)Column (2)
Reserved descriptionsSpecified honey product
Note 1:The description “honey” may be used for specified honey products specified in column 2 of items 1a, 1b, 2, 5 and 6 of Schedule 1.
Note 2:Where the specified honey product specified in Column (2) of item 9 is used as an ingredient in a compound foodstuff, the reserved description “honey” may be used in the product name of that compound foodstuff.
Note 3:

Except in the case of products specified in Column (2) of items 7 and 8 a specified honey product may additionally be described by –

(i)

its floral or vegetable origin, if the product comes wholly or mainly from the indicated source and possesses the organoleptic, physio-chemical and microscopic characteristics of the source;

(ii)

its regional, territorial or topographical origin, if the product comes entirely from the indicated source; and

(iii)

its specific quality criteria.

Item

1—(a) blossom honey or }

1—(b) nectar honey }

honey obtained from the nectar of plants

2.  honeydew honey

honey obtained mainly from excretions of plant sucking insects (Hemiptera) on the living part of plants or secretions of living parts of plants

3.  comb honey

honey stored by bees in the cells of freshly built broodless combs or thin comb foundation sheets made solely of beeswax and sold in sealed whole combs or sections of such combs

4—(a) chunk honey or }

4—(b) cut comb in honey }

honey which contains one or more pieces of comb honey

5.  drained honey

honey obtained by draining de-capped broodless combs

6.  extracted honey

honey obtained by centrifuging de-capped broodless combs

7.  pressed honey

honey obtained by pressing broodless combs with or without the application of moderate heat not exceeding 45°C

8.  filtered honey

honey obtained by removing foreign inorganic or organic matters in such a way as to result in the significant removal of pollen

9.  baker’s honey

honey which is –

(a)suitable for industrial uses or as an ingredient in other foodstuffs which are then processed; and

(b)may –

(i)have a foreign taste or odour,

(ii)have begun to ferment or have fermented, or

(iii)have been overheated

Regulation 2(2)

SCHEDULE 2SPECIFICATIONS FOR SPECIFIED HONEY PRODUCTS

Note 1:

When placed on the market as honey or used in any product intended for human consumption, honey must not:

(c)

except in the case of baker’s honey, have any foreign tastes or odours, have begun to ferment or have fermented, or have been heated in such a way that the natural enzymes have been either destroyed or significantly inactivated.

(d)

have an artificially changed acidity.

Note 2:No pollen or constituent particular to honey may be removed except where this is unavoidable in the removal of foreign inorganic or organic matter.

1.  Sugar content

1—(1) Fructose and glucose content (sum of both)

–blossom honeynot less than 60 g/100 g
–honeydew honey, blends of honeydew honey with blossom honeynot less than 45 g/100 g

1—(2) Sucrose content

–in generalnot more than 5 g/100 g
–false acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Menzies Banksia (Banksia menziesii), French honeysuckle (Hedysarum), red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida, Eucryphia milliganii), Citrus spp.not more than 10 g/100 g
–lavender (Lavandula spp.), borage (Borago officinalis)not more than 15 g/100 g

2.  Moisture content

–in generalnot more than 20%
–heather (Calluna) and baker’s honey in generalnot more than 23%
–baker’s honey from heather (Calluna)not more than 25%

3.  Water-insoluble content

–in generalnot more than 0.1 g/100 g
–pressed honeynot more than 0.5 g/100 g

4.  Electrical conductivity

–honey not listed below and blends of these honeysnot more than 0.8 mS/cm
–honeydew and chestnut honey and blends of these except with those listed belownot more than 0.8 mS/cm
–exceptions: strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), bell heather (Erica), eucalyptus, lime (Tilia spp.), ling heather (Calluna vulgaris), manuka or jelly bush (Leptospermum), tea tree (Melaleuca spp.)

5.  Free acid

–in generalnot more than 50 milli-equivalents acid per 1000 grammes
–baker’s honeynot more than 80 milli-equivalents acid per 1000 grammes

6.  Diastase activity and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content determined after processing and blending

(a)Diastase activity (Schade scale)

–in general, except baker’s honeynot less than 8
–honeys with low natural enzyme content (e.g. citrus honeys) and an HMF content of not more than 15 mg/kgnot less than 3

(b)HMF

–in general, except baker’s honeynot more than 40 mg/kg (subject to the provisions of (a), second indent)
–honeys of declared origin from regions with tropical climate and blends of these honeysnot more than 80 mg/kg

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)

These Regulations implement Council Directive 2001/110/EC concerning honey (O.J. No. L10, 12.1.2002, p. 48). They revoke and replace the Honey Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1976, as amended.

The Regulations –

(a)prescribe definitions and reserved descriptions for certain specified honey products (regulation 2 and Schedules 1 and 2);

(b)restrict the use of reserved descriptions to the specified honey products to which they relate (regulation 3);

(c)prescribe labelling requirements for such products (regulations 4, 5 and 6);

(d)specify a penalty, the enforcement authority, and, in accordance with Articles 2 and 3 of Council Directive 89/397/EEC on the official control of foodstuffs (O.J. No. L186, 30.6.89, p. 23), a defence in relation to exports (regulations 7 and 8);

(e)apply various provisions of the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 (regulation 9);

(f)revoke the previous Regulations and make consequential amendments and transitional provisions (regulations 10 and 11).

(1)

Formerly the Department of Health and Social Services; see S.I. 1999/283 (N.I. 1), Article 3

(2)

SI 1991/762 (N.I. 7) as amended by S.I. 1996/1633 (N.I. 12) and paragraphs 26 to 42 of Schedule 5 and Schedule 6 to the Food Standards Act 1999 c. 28

(3)

O.J. No. L31, 1.2.2002, p. 1

(5)

O.J. No. L10, 12.1.2002, p. 47, as adopted by EEA Joint Committee Decision 99/2002

(6)

O.J. No. L1, 3.1.94, p. 1

(7)

O.J. No. L1, 3.1.94, p. 571

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as made version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources