It could be said that food law all started with bread. The Assize of Bread and Ale 1266, to be precise, is acknowledged to be the earliest food legislation. This early and much later legislation well into the nineteenth century sought to ensure that bread was neither adulterated nor sold under weight. In more recent times, while quantity or weight continues to be regulated under the Weights and Measures Act 1985, here we cover bread weights, names and labelling, including allergen labelling.
Bread and Bakery
The fortification of flour in the UK became established in the 1950s. The addition of calcium carbonate became mandatory in 1943 to increase calcium levels in the diet and throughout the 1940s to the end of food rationing in 1954 the milling of flour up to 80% extraction or higher was required by law in order to make full use of the nutritional value of the wheat grain. A Government review of the arrangements for fortification in 2013 resulted in no changes being made.
The recent rise in popularity of wood fired bread ovens has brought into focus the requirements of the Clean Air Act 1993. This rise in popularity will inevitably bring with it a stricter approach to the enforcement of the law on smoke control than has so far been the case. The occupier of any building within a smoke control area from which, on any day, smoke is emitted from a chimney is guilty of an offence under section 20 of the Clean Air Act 1993.