6. Organisations: Breach of food safety and food hygiene regulations

Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006 (regulation 17(1)), Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 (regulation 19(1)), The General Food Regulations 2004 (regulation 4)
Effective from: 01 February 2016

Step 8 – Totality principle

If sentencing an offender for more than one offence, consider whether the total sentence is just and proportionate to the offending behaviour in accordance with the Offences Taken into Consideration and Totality guideline from which the following guidance is taken:

“The total fine is inevitably cumulative.

The court should determine the fine for each individual offence based on the seriousness of the offence and taking into account the circumstances of the case including the financial circumstances of the offender so far as they are known, or appear, to the court.

The court should add up the fines for each offence and consider if they are just and proportionate.

If the aggregate total is not just and proportionate the court should consider how to reach a just and proportionate fine. There are a number of ways in which this can be achieved.

For example:

  • where an offender is to be fined for two or more offences that arose out of the same incident or  where there are multiple offences of a repetitive kind, especially when committed against the same person, it will often be appropriate to impose for the most serious offence a fine which reflects the totality of the offending where this can be achieved within the maximum penalty for that offence. No separate penalty should be imposed for the other offences;
  • where an offender is to be fined for two or more offences that arose out of different incidents, it will  often be appropriate to impose a separate fine for each of the offences. The court should add up the fines for each offence and consider if they are just and proportionate. If the aggregate amount is not just and proportionate the court should consider whether all of the fines can be proportionately reduced. Separate fines should then be passed.

Where separate fines are passed, the court must be careful to ensure that there is no double-counting.

Where compensation is being ordered, that will need to be attributed to the relevant offence as will any necessary ancillary orders.”

Step 9 – Reasons

Section 174 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 imposes a duty to give reasons for, and explain the effect of, the sentence.