Food hygiene regulation

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Basic data
Title: Ordinance on hygiene requirements for the production, treatment and marketing of food
Short title: Food hygiene regulation
Abbreviation: LMHV
Type: Federal Ordinance
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Special administrative law , food law
References : 2125-44-6
Original version from: August 5, 1997
( Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2008 )
Entry into force on: February 8, 1998
Last revision from: Art. 1 of August 8, 2007
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1816, 1817 )
Entry into force of the
new version on:
August 15, 2007
Last change by: Art. 2 VO of January 3, 2018
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 99, 114 )
Effective date of the
last change:
January 9, 2018
(Art. 4 of January 3, 2018)
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The German Food Hygiene Regulation (LMHV) is intended to implement the EU and EU food hygiene regulations and serve to carry them out; It also contains national regulations for “specific questions”, ie exceptions to EU law and additional general food hygiene principles.

With the entry into force of directly effective European legal acts in the field of food hygiene , many national regulations had become superfluous. For example, on August 8, 2007, Federal Ministers Seehofer and Schmidt, together with the repeal of the previous LMHV and numerous other, in some cases highly specialized, regulations such as the Minced Meat Ordinance or the Ordinance on Poultry Meat Controllers with their ordinance on the implementation of provisions of Community food hygiene law on August 15th Issued various ordinances in 2007. So - with some changes in the meantime - the current LMHV and the similarly abbreviated Tier-LMHV.

Until 2007

Until 2007, the LMHV of August 5, 1997, which was repealed with the reorganization of the food hygiene law, stipulated that every company that produces, processes or markets food is obliged to identify, consistently monitor and monitor the work stages that are critical for food safety in the process document and define appropriate security measures.

Food is an ideal breeding ground for microorganisms and can be contaminated with residues and pollutants that endanger health. Strict regulations therefore regulate the production, storage, processing and preparation of food in accordance with hygienic standards to protect the consumer . Paragraphs 3–8 of the LMHV therefore provided for the following measures:

  1. Analysis of the dangers in the production process
  2. Identification of critical control points / risks
  3. Definition of the critical limit values
  4. Establishment and implementation of effective test and safety measures
  5. Documentation of the critical points
  6. Regular control of the measures taken
  7. Training of employees.

Most of the operational hygiene controls were and are carried out according to the HACCP concept.

Overriding EU law

Since January 1, 2006, European law has been in effect, replacing previous national provisions. In the states of the EU, the following three ordinances of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 29, 2004 regulate food hygiene issues:

  • Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 on food hygiene, often abbreviated to the EU Food Hygiene Regulation
  • Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004 with specific hygiene regulations for food of animal origin
  • Regulation (EC) No. 854/2004 with special procedural provisions for the official control of products of animal origin intended for human consumption, often abbreviated as the Product Inspection Ordinance

In terms of content, the previous principles remained largely unchanged; some documentation requirements were new. The objectives of the EC regulations on food hygiene can be summarized:

  • Food safety is to be monitored at EU level
  • Food safety should be regulated uniformly ("from farm to fork")
  • Every food producer must set up a hygiene management system (in accordance with HACCP)
  • Documentation of food hygiene becomes mandatory (appropriate to the type and size of the business)
  • Food companies must be registered or approved.

Also in January 2006, the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2073/2005 of November 15, 2005 on microbiological criteria in food came into force, which, with regard to the microbiological safety of food, sets the limit values ​​for pathogenic microorganisms and indicators when these are exceeded Contains limit value. The microbiological criteria also apply to imported food.

Additions and exceptions by the current LMHV


  • to general hygiene (here: no disgusting or other impairment of the perfect hygienic condition of the food) are in § 3 and
  • to the training of those who manufacture, handle or market perishable foods are explained in § 4,

Annex 1 lists which food hygiene specialist knowledge a food business operator and his (or her) trained staff must have, and Section 2 defines which adverse effects on food are to be avoided and what "perishable" means here for food.

Exceptions, i.e. mostly relief from EU law, which some consumers and norm addressees still perceive as excessive, too rigid or too industry-friendly, are for numerous forms of delivery of small quantities (Section 5) and traditional food production (Section 6). and for alpine and alpine farming (§ 7). For example for beekeepers, for the daily work of a fisherman or hunter or a keeper of up to 350 laying hens, for traditional cheese production, naturally ripened sausages, baked goods or pickled vegetables or for the use of wood, earthenware, copper kettles, open-pored stone or un-tiled rooms, also exceptions for the sea transport of raw sugar.

Section 9, with reference to the Food and Feed Code, lists the regulatory offenses for which fines are threatened if the additional food safety requirements of the LMHV are violated. So in practice mainly in the case of training or cleanliness deficiencies, some of which would generally be perceived as unhygienic even if they were not explicitly mentioned.


  • Zipfel / Rathke: food law. Commentary on all food and wine regulations and pharmaceutical law , Vol. III, C 180.199. Verlag CHBeck, Munich (with its own website: )
  • Markus Krauß / Levke Voß: Hygiene requirements for unpackaged food in self-service counters: A contribution to the interpretation of Article 4 (2) of Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004. , Journal for the entire food law (ZLR) 04/2010, 413

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. so the description in § 1
  2. Article 23 of the regulation on the implementation of provisions of Community food hygiene law
  3. see the original version. (PDF)
  4. see the original version. (PDF)
  5. see the original version. (PDF)
  6. Ordinance on microbiological criteria for food. (PDF; 473 kB).
  7. like the administrative offense according to §§ 9 number 5, 5 paragraph 1 sentence 1 with Annex 2 No. 3 c, according to which one may not treat fresh fish with infected wounds or ulcers if one cannot rule out that it will be contaminated could.