It is a legal requirement for all food businesses to have in place a certain amount of food safety paperwork, to prove that food is produced safely. This is called a food safety management system.
Different businesses will need a different amount of paperwork, depending on the size of the business, and the type of food that is being produced.
For example, a small café will need less than a large food factory.
You must have a document which is based upon the HACCP principles (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points).
In simple terms, this means you must identify steps in the food activities of your business that are critical to ensuring food safety. Having identified those steps, you need to ensure that adequate safety procedures are identified, implemented, maintained, documented and reviewed in order to control the potential food hazards.
These controls may include temperature control, cleaning, avoiding cross contamination, thorough cooking of food, personal hygiene, etc.
The Food Standards Agency have produced a food safety plan called the Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB) pack to help small food businesses comply with their legal duty. The SFBB pack is usually suitable for small caterers such as cafés, restaurants, pubs, takeaways, nurseries and food retailers such as newsagents.
The SFBB pack provides information about cross-contamination, cleaning, cooking, cooling, general management and a daily diary so you can record when certain checks have been completed.
Safer Food Better Business packs and diary refill packs can be:
Businesses which produce or sell low risk foods from home, such as foods which can be sold at ambient temperature (cupcakes, confectionary, etc.) could produce their own simple food safety plan. Examples of what should be considered and included can be downloaded below:
Food manufacturers will usually require a food safety management system based upon the traditional HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) Principles.
To help small manufacturers with this, the Food Standards Agency have produced an online HACCP template called myHACCP. This website allows a business to easily and simply create a HACCP document, for free.
Other template food safety management systems such as butchery HACCP templates can be found at the FSA website.
Our Food & Safety Team offer a paid for advisory service and we could help you to produce a suitable food safety management system, tailored to your activities. Details of services we can assist you with can be found on our Business Advice page.
If you would like advice and assistance regarding creating a food safety management system, please contact the Food & Safety Team, using the details below, who can provide further advice regarding our charges.
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