SA Food Laws

In the food business or you keen to start your very own food business? I can help you… it’s what I love to do – to help people who have a passion!

Did you know, in South Africa, it’s illegal to trade as a business in the Food sector without complying to specific and important food regulations. Basically you need a license, aka COA (Certificate Of Acceptability), from your local Governmental Health department in order to ensure you offer consumers safe food that is made in a food-grade, hygienic environment.

Penalties in the form of fines, jail time and business closure, with the confiscation of goods and equipment, can be avoided through complying to the basic regulations and thereby ensuring the safe and ethical supply of food products to paying consumer.


There are Basic Regulations for food supply or production in South Africa with detailed requirements within the following areas: 

  • Food Safety
  • Food Labelling
  • Food Advertising

The following Regulations are currently legislated and governed by regional local municipalities for the safe production of food products and fair business practicing and marketing of goods for sale to consumers.

1. Company Act information for registering a company 

No. 71 of 2008: Company Act, 2008

To provide for the incorporation, registration, organisation and management of companies within South Africa.

2. Food Safety & Hygiene standard for food facility/premises

R638 Food Stuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act 54 of 1972) 

(Released 22 June 2018) 

Regulations governing general Hygiene requirements for food premises and the transport of food and related matters.

3. Labelling & Advertising

R429 (R146 10 March 2010) Food Stuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act 54 of 1972)

(Released 29 May 2014) 

Regulations relating to the Labelling and Advertising of Food Stuffs.

Act No. 9 of 2014: Legal Metrology Act, 2014*

To provide for the administration and maintenance of legal metrology technical regulations in order to promote fair trade and to protect public health and safety and the environment; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

* When packing by volume or mass – this Act is about ensuring that scales are purchased from legitimate service providers who do regular calibrations/maintenance services.

 4. Consumer Protection Act

No.68 of 2008: Consumer Protection Act, 2008

To promote a fair, accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services and for that purpose to establish national norms and standards relating to consumer protection, to provide for improved standards of consumer information, to prohibit certain unfair marketing and business practices, to promote responsible consumer behaviour, to promote a consistent legislative and enforcement framework relating to consumer transactions and agreements.

There are updated version of the various acts available to purchase/view at a cost at or free at or

Food Focus is an excellent resource channel for South African Food producers. Interesting updates on all food regulations and food safety related matters can be found on their website –