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The Contaminants in Food Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009

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Application of various Articles of the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991

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5.—(1) The following provisions of the Order shall apply for the purposes of these Regulations with the modification that any reference in those provisions to the Order or Part thereof shall be construed as a reference to these Regulations —

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

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

(c)Article 20 (defence of due diligence), as it applies for the purpose of Article 13 or 14;

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

(e)Article 34(1) (obstruction etc. of officers);

(f)Article 34(2), with the modification that the reference to “any such requirement as is mentioned in paragraph (1)(b)” shall be deemed to be a reference to any such requirement as is mentioned in Article 34(1)(b) as applied by sub–paragraph (e);

(g)Article 36(1) (punishment of offences), in so far as it relates to offences under Article 34(1) as applied by sub–paragraph (e); and

(h)Article 36(2) and (3), in so far as it relates to offences under Article 34(2) as applied by sub–paragraph (f).

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), Article 8 of the Order (inspection and seizure of suspected food) shall apply for the purposes of these Regulations as if it read as follows —

8.(1) An authorised officer may at all reasonable times inspect any food intended for human consumption which has been placed on the market and paragraphs (2) to (7) shall apply where, on such an inspection, it appears to the authorised officer that the placing on the market of any food fails to comply with the requirements specified in regulation 3(2)(a) and (c) of the Contaminants in Food Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 (“the Community requirements”).

(2) The authorised officer may either —

(a)give notice to the person in charge of the food that, until the notice is withdrawn, the food or any specified portion of it —

(i)is not to be used for human consumption, and

(ii)either is not to be removed or is to be removed to a place at which there are facilities to carry out sampling in the manner required by law; or

(b)seize the food and remove it in order to have it dealt with by a justice of the peace.

(3) Where the authorised officer gives notice under paragraph (2)(a), that officer shall, as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event before the expiration of 21 days from the date of notice, determine whether or not the food complies with the Community requirements and —

(a)if satisfied that it does comply, shall forthwith withdraw the notice;

(b)if not so satisfied, shall seize the food and remove it in order to have it dealt with by a justice of the peace.

(4) Where an authorised officer seizes and removes food under paragraph (2)(b) or (3)(b), the officer shall inform the person in charge of the food of the intention to have it dealt with by a justice of the peace and any person who in connection with regulation 3(2)(a) or (c) of the Contaminants in Food Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 might be liable to a prosecution in respect of the food shall, if that person attends before the justice of the peace by whom the food falls to be dealt with, be entitled to be heard and to call witnesses.

(5) If it appears to a justice of the peace, on the basis of such evidence as the justice considers appropriate in the circumstances, that any food falling to be dealt with under this Article fails to comply with the Community requirements the justice shall condemn the food and order —

(a)the food to be destroyed or to be so disposed of as to prevent it from being used for human consumption; and

(b)any expenses reasonably incurred in connection with the destruction or disposal to be defrayed by the owner of the food.

(6) If a notice under paragraph (2)(a) is withdrawn, or the justice of the peace by whom any food falls to be dealt with under this Article refuses to condemn it, the district council shall compensate the owner of the food for any depreciation in its value resulting from the action taken by the authorised officer.

(7) Any disputed question as to the right to or the amount of any compensation payable under paragraph (6) shall be determined by arbitration.

(8) Any person who knowingly contravenes the requirements of a notice under paragraph (2)(a) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale..

(3) The expression “authorised officer” which is used in Article 8 of the Order so far as it applies for the purposes of these Regulations by virtue of paragraph (2), shall, for those purposes, mean any person, whether or not an officer of a district council, who is authorised by it in writing to act in matters arising under these Regulations.

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