FOOD ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

Prohibition in Respect of Food

2. Prohibition on manufacture, importation, sale, exposure for sale, storage and distribution of food.

3. Labelling, packaging and advertising.

4. Where standard is prescribed.

5. Sale for purposes other than human consumption of food rendered unfit for human consumption.

6. Warranty.

7. Registration.

PART II

Administration

8. Food Advisory Committee.

9. Duties of the Food Advisory committee.

10. Food Authority.

11. Chief Food Authority.

12. Default of local authority.

13. Authorised officer.

14. Powers of Authorised Officer.

15. Procedure in respect of articles seized.

16. Analysis.

17. Approved Analyst.

PART III

Legal Proceedings

18. Offences.

19. Person committing offence liable to be arrested without a warrant and to be tried by a Magistrate's Court.

20. Institution of proceedings.

21. Where the accused proves other person guilty of the offence.

22. Defences.

23. Report of Approved Analyst or Additional Approved Analyst.

24. Authorised Officer to produce before court the part of the sample retained by him.

25. Copy or extract of taken by an Authorised officer.

26. Presumptions.

27. Offences committed by a body of persons.

PART IV

General

28. Protection for action taken in good faith.

29. Payments into and out of fund of local authority under this Act.

30. Notification.

31. Application of other written law to food.

32. Regulations.

33. Interpretation.

26 of 1980,

20 of 1991,

29 of 2011.

AN ACT to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, sale and distribution of food, to establish a food advisory committee, to repeal the Food and Drugs Act of 1949, and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 1st February, 1981]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Food Act.

PART I

Prohibition in Respect of Food

2. Prohibition on manufacture, importation, sale, exposure for sale, storage and distribution of food.

(1) No person shall manufacture, import, sell, expose for sale, store or distribute any food—

[S 2(1) am by s 2(1) of Act 20 of 1991.]

(a) that has in or upon it any natural or added deleterious substance which renders it injurious to health;

[S 2(1)(a) am by s 2(1) of Act 20 of 1991.]

(b) that is unfit for human consumption;

(c) that consists in whole or in part of any unclean, putrid, repugnant, decayed, decomposed or diseased animal substance or decayed vegetable substance or is insect infested;

(d) that is adulterated;

(e) that has in or upon it any added substance in contravention of the provisions of this Act or any regulation made thereunder; or

(f) in contravention of the provisions of this Act or any regulation made thereunder.

(2) No person shall manufacture, prepare, preserve, package or store any food under insanitary conditions.

[S 2(2) am by s 2 of Act 20 of 1991.]

(3) No person shall import, sell or distribute any food manufactured, prepared, preserved, packaged or stored for sale under insanitary conditions.

3. Labelling, packaging and advertising.

(1) No person shall treat, process, package, label, sell, store, expose for sale, import or advertise any food in a manner that is false, misleading, deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression, regarding its character, value, quality, composition, merit or safety.

[S 3(1) am by s 3(1) of Act 20 of 1991.]

(2) Any food that is not labelled or packaged as required by the regulations made under this Act or is labelled or packaged contrary to such regulations shall be deemed to be labelled or packaged contrary to subsection (1).

(3) the Chief Food Authority may, after giving the labeller or advertiser of any food an opportunity of being heard, prohibit the labelling or advertising of such food in contravention of the provisions of subsection (1) of this section.

[S 3(3) ins by s 3(2) of Act 20 of 1991.]

4. Where standard is prescribed.

Where a standard is prescribed for any food, no person shall label, package, sell or advertise any food which does not conform to that standard in such a manner as is likely to be mistaken for the food for which the standard has been prescribed.

5. Sale for purposes other than human consumption of food rendered unfit for human consumption.

No person shall offer for sale, expose for sale or sell for use as animal food or for other purposes any food which has been spoilt or rendered unfit for human consumption except with the permission of, and in accordance with the directions issued by the Food Authority or such other person authorised by that authority in writing in that behalf.

[S 5 am by s 4 of Act 20 of 1991.]

6. Warranty.

(1) No manufacturer or a distributor of or a commission agent or a dealer in any food shall sell such food to any vendor unless he also gives that vendor a warranty in the prescribed form in respect of the nature, substance and quality of that food.

(2) A bill, cash memorandum or invoice, in respect of the sale of any food given by a manufacturer or distributor of or a commission agent or a dealer in any such food to the vendor of that food, shall be deemed to be a warranty under the preceding provisions of this section in respect of that food, if such bill, cash memorandum or invoice contains a description of the nature, substance and quality of that food.

(3) No manufacturer or distributor of, or a commission agent or dealer in, any food shall under subsection (1) give a warranty which is false.

7. Registration.

(1) No person shall manufacture, prepare, preserve, package, store or sell any food in any premises unless such premises has been registered by the relevant Food Authority who shall be the registering authority.

[S 7(1) am by s 5(a) of Act 20 of 1991.]

(2) No person shall manufacture, prepare, store or sell or distribute any food unless he is the holder of a certificate of registration authorising him to manufacture, prepare, store, sell or distribute any food otherwise than in accordance with the terms and conditions of such certificate of registration.

[S 7(2) am by s 5(b) of Act 20 of 1991.]

PART II

Administration

8. Food Advisory Committee.

(1) There shall be established a Committee which shall be called the Food Advisory Committee comprising of—

(a) the following ex-officio members—

(i) the Director-General of Health Services, who shall be the Chairman of the Committee;

(ii) the Director in charge of the Food Control Administration in the Department of Health Services, who shall be the Secretary to the Committee;

(iii) two Deputy Directors-General of Health Services in charge of Public Health Services;

(iv) two Assistant Directors of the Department of Health Services in charge of Food Control Administration;

(v) the Government Analyst or his nominee;

(vi) the Director-General of Customs or his nominee;

(vii) the Director-General of the Consumer Affairs Authority established under the Consumer Affairs Authority Act, No. 9 of 2003 or his nominee;

(viii) the Director-General of the Sri Lanka Standards Institute established by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute Act, No. 6 of 1984, or his nominee;

(ix) the Director-General of the Department of Commerce
or his nominee;

(x) Director-General of the Department of Animal Production and Health or his nominee;

(xi) the Chief Medical Officer of Health of the Colombo Municipal Council;

(xii) the City Analyst of the Colombo Municipal Council;

(xiii) the Food Commissioner or his nominee;

(xiv) a Nutritionist from the Medical Research Institute of the Department of Health Services, nominated by the Minister;

(xv) the Legal Officer of the Ministry of the Minister to whom the subject of Health is assigned; and

(b) the following nominated members—

(i) an officer nominated by the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister to whom the subject of Local Government and Provincial Councils is assigned;

(ii) a Food Technologist nominated by the Minister;

(iii) a Food Microbiologist nominated by the Minister;

(iv) a Food Scientist nominated by the Minister;

(v) a member nominated by the Minister who shall represent commercial interests relating to food;

(vi) a member nominated by the Minister who shall represent industrial interests relating to food; and

(vii) two members nominated by the Minister to represent the interests of consumers, relating to food.

(2) Every member of the Committee nominated by the Minister shall, unless he earlier vacates office by resignation, death or removal, hold office for a period of three years from the date of his nomination and shall be eligible for re-nomination.

(3) Every ex-officio member of the Committee shall cease to be a member of the Committee on his ceasing to hold the office which qualified him to be, or to be nominated as, a member of the Committee.

(4) The Committee may discharge its functions notwithstanding any vacancy among its members or any defect in the appointment of any such member.

(5) The quorum for any meeting of the Committee shall be seven members:

Provided however, that the Chief Food Authority may, with the concurrence of the Committee, invite any person to participate at a meeting of the committee, if the presence of such person is necessary to facilitate the resolution of issues relating to the implementation of the provisions of this Act:

Provided further, that the attendance of such invited members shall not constitute the quorum required for that meeting:

Provided further that any person so invited shall not have the right to vote on any matter discussed at such meeting.

(6) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Committee may regulate its own procedure in regard to its meetings and the transaction of business at such meetings.

[S 8 subs by s 2 of Act 29 of 2011.]

9. Duties of the Food Advisory committee.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Food Advisory Committee to advise the Minister on matters arising out of the administration of this Act and to carry out other functions assigned to it under this Act.

(2) The Committee may appoint such sub-committees, as it deems fit, to exercise such powers, perform such duties or discharge such functions as may, subject to such conditions, if any, as the Committee may impose, be delegated to them by the Committee, and may appoint to these subcommittees persons who are not members of the Committee.

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