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The Food Standards Agency ensures that food business operators at London Central Markets (Smithfield Meat Market) complies with hygiene regulations and that unfit or unsound products are not sold to the public.

The City Corporation's Smithfield enforcement team undertakes food safety enforcement that is outside the remit of the Food Standards Agency.

Duties involve investigating food complaints and ensuring that all meat on the market is handled, prepared and transported under hygienic conditions. This includes the areas beyond licensed premises such as the pavement, loading / unloading activities, dealing with contaminated product (on the road etc). In addition, as part of local authority food controls, regular hygiene inspections are undertaken of the vehicles carrying meat to and from the Market.

Meat inspection and training

Formal and informal training in meat inspection and meat hygiene are provided for student environmental health practitioners, market traders, market workers and others involved in the meat trade.

Training is also offered in conjunction with the Billingsgate Seafood Training School to food industry health professionals.

Bespoke courses can be provided on request.

Food labelling

Officers of the Smithfield enforcement team undertake regular inspections to verify compliance with food labelling legislation.

Food labelling and date marking of food help consumers to make safe and optimum use of food. Labelling only applies to food that is ready for delivery to the final consumer or catering establishment. Labels must display the "appropriate durability indication". There are two types of durability indication:

  • 'best before', used on vast majority of food that would be expected to retain its optimal condition and so relates to the quality of food.
  • 'use by', shown on highly perishable foods which present a risk of food poisoning and relates to the safety of the food.

The provisions of the Health and Safety at Work, Etc. Act 1974 and allied legislation are enforced within the Market in close liaison with the Superintendent of Smithfield Market and the Health & Safety Executive, through regular inspections and the investigation of accidents and dangerous occurrences.

Further information

For further information or to register a complaint, contact the Commercial Team between 8.30am and 5pm.

Email: Public Protection Team.

020 7253 3254

Out of hours

020 7332 3630 ​​