Food businesses are facing tough new refrigeration regulations from the European Union.
The F-Gas Directive, now going through its second reading, would require all member states to introduce regulations preventing the escape of refrigerants into the environment.
In effect, it imposes a legal responsibility on users of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment to prevent leakage.
Users of cooling equipment will also have to ensure systems are serviced regularly, with large systems checked quarterly for leaks.
Detailed records will have to be kept and there will be penalties for non-compliance.
Andrew Bailey, editor of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning magazine, said: “With the coming of the F-Gas Regulation we are about to enter a new era. First-time users will have a legal duty to maintain, repair leaks and log all service top-ups.”
If passed, member states are expected to begin implementation of the new regulations early next year.
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