Hygiene regulations that vending machine operators must take into account

Marco Thull | 17. April 2020

Whoever produces or trades in food in the European area has to follow strict rules. The most important ones are summarised here for your guidance.

Directive (EC) No. 178/2002

Lays down general principles and requirements of food law for the European area. Also regulated the establishment and functions of the European Food Safety Authority and established procedures on food safety.

The nationally applicable food laws had to be adapted as a result. In Germany it is the “LMHV”. To ensure food safety, the EU authority co-operates with national authorities.

Directive (EC) 852/2004

Directive (EC) 852/2004 covers the hygiene of foodstuffs. It regulates the treatment and production of food to protect consumers from health hazards resulting from product contamination. The general hygiene requirements must be complied with by food businesses at all stages of the food chain. If food of animal origin is used, companies must also meet the requirements of Directive (EC) 853/2004.

Directives (EC) 853/2004

It supplements Directive (EC) No 852/2004 with specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin. The rules apply to unprocessed and processed products of animal origin. Foodstuffs containing both products of plant origin and processed products of animal origin are generally not subject to these rules.

Food Hygiene Directive (Lebensmittelhygiene-Verordnung – LMHV)

The Food Hygiene Directive (LMHV) applies in Germany for the national implementation and execution of the hygiene regulations applicable in Europe. It also contains national regulations that supplement the food hygiene principles generally applicable in Europe. As a general rule, food should only be produced, treated or marketed in such a way that it is not exposed to the risk of adverse effects by observing the necessary care during processing and handling.

All enterprises affected by the LMHV are obliged to demonstrate their own control system. This must be in a position to identify the critical points where health hazards arise, derive appropriate safety measures and then comply with them and review them at regular intervals. The proof must be documented. An appropriate analysis concept is offered with the HACCP system. HACCP stands for “Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point” and is used as a guideline in the LMHV.

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