Food Safety Prosecutions

Food Safety Prosecutions – Have you been charged by the council with breaching the Food Act 1984?

If so, we can help you. Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers have defended a significant number of food safety prosecutions. We have offices in Moorabbin, Frankston, Dandenong, Geelong, Ringwood and the Melbourne CBD so we are well located to assist you, wherever you are.

Food safety charges

The charges exist in the Food Act 1984 with the bulk of the charges being located in sections 8 –17.

  • Section 8 Knowingly handle food in an unsafe manner;
  • Section 8A Handling food in unsafe manner in other circumstances;
  • Section 9 Knowingly selling unsafe food;
  • Section 9A Sale of unsafe food in other circumstances;
  • Section 10 Knowingly falsely describing food;
  • Section 10A Knowingly falsely describing food in other circumstances;
  • Section 11 Handling and sale of unsafe food;
  • Section 12 Handling and sale of unsuitable food;
  • Section 13 Misleading conduct in relation to the sale of food;
  • Section 14 Sale of food not complying with purchaser’s demand;
  • Section 16 Compliance with Food Standards Code;
  • Section 17 Proprietor’s name to be affixed to the premises; and
  • Section 17A False description of food.

Certain charges are far more serious than others. Knowingly handling food in an unsafe manner is the most serious of the above charges. For an individual, it carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and a $100,000 fine. This fine becomes $500,000 for a corporation.

Other sanctions in relation to food safety prosecutions

If you are found guilty of any of the above offences your business or company name will be recorded and published on the Register of Convictions on the government’s Department of Health website. This is a significant punishment in itself, as the damage to the company’s reputation could be irredeemable.

The council will often lay 15–100 charges. These can often be negotiated and on occasion some will be withdrawn.

The fines can range from $1,000 to as much as $1,000 000.

It is important in relation to these matters that you are properly represented. This could well mean that your fine is significantly reduced, offsetting the cost of seeking legal representation.

Don’t put it off, as thorough preparation is always critical to a favourable outcome in court. If you have been charged with any matter relating to the Food Act, call one of our criminal lawyers today.