Food safety

The Food Safety Act 1990 and regulations make it an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to health. They also place an obligation on businesses to ensure that their activities are carried out in a hygienic way.

For more detailed information please visit the Food Standards Agency Website.

A risk assessment asks you to think logically about what might go wrong with the food you sell and what you must do to ensure it is safe for your customers. It is based on food safety practices that you should already be familiar with.

Risk assessments help to prevent problems rather than reacting to them after they have happened.

Why do a risk assessment?

It helps ensure food is safe for customers to eat.
It is a legal requirement for all food businesses.

If your business is taken to court you may be able to demonstrate that you had exercised diligence through arrangements in place to prevent an offence being committed.

New Food Hygiene Regulations make it a requirement for all food businesses (except primary producers) to put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, in premises which should already comply with existing regulations.

The Food Standards Agency has developed a pack to assist such businesses to comply with the new law and contains information to help you:

  • Comply with new regulations,
  • Show what you do to prepare food safely,
  • Train staff,
  • Protect your business's reputation

During future enforcement visits Environmental Health Officers will be advising proprietors on compliance with the new legislation, however, with an excess of 500 premises to administer, it will obviously take some time. In the interim a pack can be downloaded from the Food Standards Agency website www.food.gov.uk/catering and there is also a guide on how to use it.