Advice line: 1890 33 66 77

Food Hygiene Legislation

You must comply with the rules set out in the food hygiene legislation (Regulation 852/2004/EC), irrespective of the size or type of business. This legislation sets out rules on food hygiene, both specific rules and more general requirements, including premises layout, temperature control, HACCP, equipment, transport, waste, personal hygiene and training.

If your business deals with foods of animal origin (as set out in the section on approval) then you must also comply with Regulation 853/2004/EC which sets out specific hygiene rules for these types of products.

Legislation on the general principles of food law (Regulation 178/2002/EC) makes it illegal to place unsafe food on the market. You should familiarise yourself with this legislation.

There are several guidance documents on the above legislation which you may find helpful.

In addition, we would strongly recommend obtaining a copy of the relevant standard from the National Standards Authority of Ireland if you are a caterer, retailer or wholesaler, as these provide detailed guidance on complying with the general food hygiene legislation:

I.S. 340:2007 – Hygiene in the Catering Sector
I.S. 341:2007 - Hygiene in Food Retailing and Wholesaling

For more information, or to purchase the guides, call the NSAI on (01) 8576730/8576731 or visit their website at
Additional legislation may be required depending on the category of business.

See more information on food legislation 


Last reviewed: 20/12/2012

Approved Food Establishments 


Food Labelling