In a nutshell: Food business operators and their food handlers are required to comply with food laws.  Please refer to the relevant information from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Centre for Food Safety.

The Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance

The basic food law in Hong Kong is laid down in Part V of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132). The main provisions cover general protection for food purchasers, offences in connection with sale of unfit food and adulterated food, composition and labelling of food, food hygiene, seizure and destruction of unfit food. Controls in specific areas are provided in subsidiary legislation under the Ordinance.

The Food Safety Ordinance

The Food Safety Ordinance (Cap. 612) has commenced its full operation on 1 February 2012. Any person who carries on a food business, including farmers, fishermen, hawkers and market stall lessees selling food, should note the relevant measures. This new ordinance introduces a food tracing mechanism to help the Government trace the source of the food more effectively and take prompt action when dealing with food incidents. The food tracing mechanism includes a registration scheme for food importers and food distributors and a record-keeping requirement relating to the movement of food.

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Food Hygiene Code

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has published a set of food hygiene and safety standards in the form of a Food Hygiene Code to help operators of food business better understand the inspection standards on licensed food premises as well as the best practices in meeting the standards.

The full versions set out in details the various food hygiene and safety standards applicable to food premises as enshrined in the legislation, licensing requirements as well as licensing conditions pertaining to food business operations, together with advice and guidance for compliance as well as the rationale behind. The abridged versions, to be used as quick reference guides, provide summaries of their full versions.

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