The laws, permits and notices applicable to restaurant services

There are several national laws, decrees and guidelines as well as international regulations that set the safety requirements for restaurant services. The functions required in the provision of restaurant services are discussed under the following sections:

Rescue Act

More information: Rescue services – Laws and decrees

  • The purpose of the Rescue Act is to improve the safety of people and to reduce the number of accidents. The purpose of the Act is also to ensure that when there is the threat of an accident or when an accident has occurred, people are rescued, important functions are secured and the consequences of the accident are successfully limited.
  • The Rescue Act is coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior Department for Rescue Services, the Regional State Administrative Agency and the regional rescue departments. The local supervisory authorities are the chief fire officer and fire inspector.

Food Act

More information: Evira – Food legislation

  • The objectives of the Food Act are
    • to ensure that food is safe and is handled safely, as well as to ensure the health-related quality of food and that its quality in other respects accords with the food regulations
    • to ensure that the information given about food is truthful, sufficient and not misleading
    • to protect the consumer from health hazards and financial losses caused by foods that violate the food regulations
    • to ensure the traceability of food
    • to secure a high-quality system of food control
    • to help improve the operating conditions for food business operators.

The Food Act is coordinated by the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, and the municipal food safety authority (health inspector) and the Regional State Administrative Agency are in charge of local supervision

Occupational Safety and Health Act

More information: Occupational Safety and Health Administration – Current regulations

  • The objectives of the Occupational Safety and Health Act are to improve the working environment and working conditions in order to ensure and maintain the working capacity of employees as well as to prevent occupational accidents and diseases and eliminate other hazards from work and the working environment to the physical and mental health of employees.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act is coordinated by the Regional State Administrative Agency, which is also the supervisory authority for the act.

Communicable Diseases Act

More information: Valvira – Regulations

  • The Communicable Diseases Act specifies the instructions and measures for protecting the population and individuals against communicable diseases.
  • The Act applies to persons working at a food establishment in a position that involves handling unpacked, easily perishable foodstuffs.
  • The Communicable Diseases Act is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The local supervisory authorities are the Regional State Administrative Agency and the municipal food safety authority (health inspector).

Alcohol Act

More information: Valvira – Alcohol

  • The purpose of the Alcohol Act is to prevent detrimental societal, social and health effects caused by alcoholic substances by controlling the consumption of alcohol.
  • The Alcohol Act is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The local supervisory authority is the Regional State Administrative Agency (alcohol inspector).

Land Use and Building Act

More information: Ministry of the Environment – Land use and building

  • This act regulates the planning, construction and use of buildings and areas.
  • The Land Use and Building Act is coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment. The local supervisory authorities are the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) and the municipal building supervision authority (building inspector).

An accommodation provider may conduct a variety of operations and, therefore, the above legislation may not cover the entire business of the company. However, they specify the relevant factors related to safety.

 


PERMITS AND NOTICES

Rescue plan

Open:  Template for drawing up a rescue plan

A rescue plan is required for a building or other site

  • which is exceptionally demanding with regard to evacuation safety or rescue operations
  • where the risk to the safety of persons or to fire safety or the risk to the environment or cultural property, or the damage caused by any accident, may be considered serious.

The supervisory authority is the rescue authority.

 

Self-supervision plan for food operations

More information: Evira – Self-supervision plan

  • Self-supervision refers to a food business operator’s internal system for controlling the risks involved in the operations. The municipal food safety authority will determine if the operator’s self-supervision measures are sufficient for controlling the risks.
  • The municipal food safety authority (health inspector) acts as the supervisory authority.

 

Notice of food establishment

More information: Evira.fi – Notice of food establishment

  • A food business operator must submit to the food safety authority a written notice of a food establishment no later than four weeks before starting or significantly changing the operations. The notice must be supplemented with a floor plan. The premises must be approved for the intended use by the building supervision authority.
  • Notice form
  • The municipal food safety authority (health inspector) acts as the supervisory authority for the act.

 

Self-supervision plan for serving alcoholic beverages

More information: Yrityssuomi.fi – Self-supervision plan for serving alcoholic beverages

  • Self-supervision refers to the planning and supervision by the restaurant regarding the serving of alcoholic beverages. Together with the other self-supervision measures, it is an effective tool for ensuring the quality of the operations.
  • Self-supervision reduces the risk of deviations and improves the comfort and safety for the customers and personnel. A self-supervision plan is not required by the law, but an operator can use it for demonstrating compliance with the obligation of diligence, for example.
  • The supervisory authority is the Regional State Administrative Agency/alcohol inspector.

 

Licence to serve alcoholic beverages

More information: Yrityssuomi.fi – Licence to serve alcoholic beverages

  • A restaurant operator must apply for and receive the related licence in order to serve alcoholic beverages.
  • The licence to serve alcoholic beverages is applied in writing, and the licence is issued by the local Regional State Administrative Agency of the intended serving location.

The licence can be issued until further notice, for a fixed term or on a temporary basis.

 

Building permit

More information: Ymparisto.fi – Permits related to land use and building

  • Buildings must meet the requirements set for their intended use.
  • The actual use of a building must be in line with the permit issued for the building.
  • The final inspection (or commissioning inspection) related to a building permit (or an action permit) must be completed before the building is put to use.
  • The construction of professional buildings or structures (such as tourist attractions) made of snow, ice or slush is subject to an action or building permit.

The supervisory authority is the municipal building supervision authority (building inspector).