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Israel: Law on Inspection of Food Quality and Nutrition in Educational Institutions Passed

(Nov. 13, 2014) On July 28, 2014, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Food Quality and Proper Nutrition in Educational Institutions Inspection Law, 5774-2014 (Food Quality Law). (SEFER HAHUKIM [Book of Laws, SH] 5774 No. 2470 p. 762, Knesset website (Aug. 7, 2014).)

The Law requires the Minister of Education, in consultation with the Minister of Health and with the approval of the Knesset Education, Culture, and Sports Committee, to set requirements for the composition and nutritional value of food that can be supplied or sold at educational institutions where ten or more students study. (Id. § 2(b).) An “educational institution is defined as “an institution for the systematic instruction of children or adolescents,” based on the Compulsory Education Law, 5709-1949. (2 LAWS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL, 5709-1948/49, as amended.)

In determining the requirements, the type of institution and students’ needs and ages must be considered. (Food Quality Law, § 2(b).) The Food Quality Law further requires any food supplier who supplies or sells food in an area belonging to an educational institution to publish the composition and the nutritional value of the food supplied in conformity with the Minister of Education’s stipulations. (Id. § 3).

The Law requires the principal of an educational institution to provide students and parents with information on food quality and nutrition requirements at the beginning of the school year and to provide the Ministry of Education (MOE) a yearly report on their implementation. (Id. §§ 4(b-c),) The Law similarly requires the principal to prevent the supply or sale of food that does not meet these requirements. (Id. § 4(a).)

The Law authorizes the Minister of Education to appoint an inspector to implement its requirements. The inspector is authorized, among other powers, to require persons to identify themselves and to enter premises without a search warrant, except in the case of places used for residential purposes. (Id. §§ 19-22.)

The Law establishes a mechanism for an expedited regulatory procedure for the imposition of a financial lien on violators. (Id. §§ 5-18.) At the same time, the Law recognizes the right of a person who has violated the requirements to be informed of the MOE inspector’s intention to impose on him/her a lien and the right of the violator to object to the lien in writing within 30 days after being so informed. (Id. § 7.)