Criminal law also protects food safety, targeting any tampering with product safety, while also ensuring consistency in the food industry and its trade. Equally important for food safety is the protection of natural products, specially equipped with distinguishing marks (such as designation of origin, geographical indication, etc.), which guarantee their origin and correct processing in full compliance with industry regulations.
As for food safety, this involves all aspects of the agri-food chain, from the selection of products to the distribution and sale of food, passing through processing, transformation, treatment, packaging and storage. Law no. 283 of 30 April 1962 specifically regulates the hygiene rules on the production and sale of food and beverages, while imposing a series of fines aimed at punishing food hygiene violations.
Criminal law on food safety cannot disregard the rules contained in book II, title VI, of the penal code concerning crimes against public safety, which impose liability against a series of crimes against food hygiene and safety:
- water or foodstuff poisoning (art. 439)
- adulteration and counterfeiting of foodstuffs (art. 440)
- adulteration or counterfeiting of other things to the detriment of public health (art. 441)
- trade in counterfeit or adulterated foodstuffs (art. 442)
- trade in harmful foodstuffs (art. 444)
For years, enforceable laws have been established both at national and EU level in an effort to protect PDO products. This has led to the introduction of new cases of PDO regulations (e.g., PDO, PGI and TSG products of European origin and meant for a variety of agri-food products, adding to the traditional nation-wide safeguards for the wine sector). As a consequence of this supranational evolution, over the years, many types of potentially significant offences have also been introduced into our penal code. These include:
- trade fraud (Article 515)
- sale of non-natural foodstuffs as natural foodstuffs (art. 516)
- sale of industrial products bearing misleading labels (art. 517)
- manufacturing and trading of goods made by usurping industrial property rights (art. 517 ter)
counterfeiting of geographical indications or designations of origin of agri-food products (art. 517 quater)
Baccaredda Boy Law Firm deals with multiple cases of non-compliance with food safety requirements, which are characterized by a high degree of regulatory and investigative complexity. To this end, it provides legal assistance in proceedings concerning both cases of food safety citations (as set out in the aforementioned law no. 283 of 1962) and egregious criminal offences (as established by the penal code).
Baccaredda Boy Law Firm also provides its professional services to a well-established winery.