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Hygiene advice for cake makers and sellers

Do I need to produce and maintain any documentation if I am making cakes or bakery products from home?

Regulation (EC) 852/2004 Article 5 states that Food Business Operators shall put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles.

HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from the purchase of ingredients through to the finished product.

The Food Standards Agency has developed a food safety management system based on the principles of HACCP to meet the needs of small businesses. The system is called Food Standards Agency Safer Food Better Business and can be downloaded for free. The system can easily be tailored to suit your business and will assist in meeting your legal obligations.

The amount of documentation required will depend on the size of your business and what you are doing. For example, a business making cooked meat pies with raw meat will have more checks in place and generate more documentation to show that the checks have been completed than a business that makes and sells biscuits.

Our Environmental Health Officer's will be able to provide you with detailed advice on what documentation would be necessary for your business.


Do I need to use the Safer Food Better Business pack as my food safety management system?

No. Safer Food Better Business was developed by the Food Standards Agency to assist small businesses in implementing an effective food safety management system and complying with the law. Whilst it is acceptable to use this system if you wish, cake makers often find that large sections of Safer Food Better Business do not apply to their business.


Can I write my own food safety management system based on the principles of HACCP?

Yes. Normally a few sides of A4 outlining your checks and procedures will be sufficient to achieve compliance with food law. Should you wish to develop your own system, seek the advice of our Environmental Health Officer's who will check that your system adequately addresses potential hazards.


Do I need to review my food safety management system?

Yes. Reviewing your food safety management system will verify that the procedures and checks you have in place to keep food safe are working. How often you review your system will depend on how often you are baking products.

You can use a diary to record any issues and corrective actions, any temperature checks conducted and any reviews made of your food safety management system. Alternatively, you can use the diary sheets from the Safer Food Better Business Pack which also include 4 weekly review pages.


Corrective actions & verification

Part of the requirement to implement a system based on the principles of HACCP is to ensure that corrective action is taken when monitoring of critical points indicates that the hazard is not under control. For example, if you check the temperature of your refrigerator where you store your fresh creams for cake fillings and find that the refrigerator is not working properly you must document what corrective action you took.

For example, you could record in your diary that you removed and discarded all fresh ingredients stored in the refrigerator, called an engineer to fix the problem or replaced the refrigerator.


I want to write my own HACCP, what are the main areas I need to consider?

Should you wish to develop your own food safety management system based on the principles of HACCP the following areas need to be considered, with documentation on how you manage each area.



Where do you purchase your ingredients from?

What quality checks do you make? - Such as best before dates, checking that the packaging is intact, use by dates of fresh products etc.

What type of eggs do you use and how are they stored?

Do you use food pens/glitters/lustre dusts and are they edible or non-toxic?



Where do you store dry ingredients? Where do you store fresh ingredients?

Do you check the temperature of any refrigerators / freezers? If so, when do you check them and how often do you do it?



What products do you use to clean?

What is the contact time for your surface cleaner / sanitiser?

What areas/equipment are subject to cleaning and how often are they cleaned?

It is important that work surfaces are cleaned thoroughly with a suitable anti-bacterial kitchen surface cleaner and with a clean (preferably disposable) cloth or paper towel. It is important to follow manufacturer's instructions on the label of cleaning products.


Cooking and Cooling

How do you check if your products are cooked?

How and where are your products cooled?

Do you cover your cooling products to protect them from contamination such as flies?

Once they are cooled, how are the products stored?



Where do you wash your hands?

What products do you use to wash your hands and hygienically dry them?

How do you manage domestic pets in the kitchen and young children?

What protective clothing do you wear whilst preparing and cooking food products?

It is imperative that you wash your hands before handling any ingredients and regularly throughout the time you are preparing or handling food, particularly after handling eggs.


Transporting and Sale

What type of containers/products do you use to transport products?

How are fresh products transported?

Do you deliver products? If so, what vehicle do you use and how far do you travel?

You should use clean covered containers to transport cakes from your home to the place of sale. If you use fresh cream for cake fillings or decoration, ensure that it is within its 'use-by' date. Keep fresh cream cakes chilled and transport them in a cool box with ice packs.



How do you manage allergens?

How do you inform customers of allergens within the product?

Do you make any gluten-free products?

How do you ensure adequate storage of allergenic and non-allergenic ingredients such as nuts and gluten­ free flours?

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