If food law is violated and if there is a danger to health or in misleading of the consumer, the question of possible sanctions and liability for the responsible food businesses arises. Depending on the type of offence, the responsible person is subject to objections, orders or charges. In civil law, the question of product liability arises.
In public law, the principle of proportionality applies. A first goal is the re-establishment of legal status. An objection serves to resolve the offence by taking suitable corrective measures in an amicable way within the framework of an agreement between the authority and the food enterprise.
If this procedure is not sufficient, the authorities can make orders. Apart from concretely ordered measures, these can also contain sales bans, name prohibitions or prohibitions on advertisements and brochures.
If the violation constitutes a criminal offence (see articles 47 Federal Food Act), criminal proceedings will necessarily follow. Only in particularly minor cases may the authority issue a caution without a charge being laid (article 48 (3) Federal Food Act). At any rate, a complaint will be recorded in the case of endangerment of health (prison or penalty), of grave misleading (prison or penalty up to 20.000, - Swiss francs) and in the case of recurrence. In the area of advertising, a criminal procedure is also possible against media, publishing houses or the administration of advertisements through aiding and abetting (article 48 (2) Federal Food Law).