Food safety for food businesses

It is an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to health. Businesses have to ensure that their activities are carried out in a hygienic way.

Information on the legal requirements is on the Food Standards Agency website.

Risk assessments

If you have any sort of food business, you have to carry out a risk assessment. The assessment asks you to think about what might go wrong with the food you sell and what you must do to make sure 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. If your business is taken to court, it will help if you can show that you had been careful to put arrangements in place to stop an offence being committed.

Food hygiene regulations

Food Hygiene Regulations mean all food businesses have to have permanent procedures in place based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

The Food Standards Agency website has information to help businesses comply with the law and:

  • show what you do to prepare food safely
  • train staff
  • protect your business's reputation

Tips for storing food in hot weather

The Food Standards Agency has information about chilling food correctly in your business.

When temperatures are higher than normal, follow this guidance to make sure you stay within the law:

  • Keep your fridge on at all times
  • Reduce the amount of stock stored in your fridges, especially if they are domestic ones
  • Temporarily reduce your menu in hot weather so that you don't need to store as much food in your fridges
  • Make sure that high risk food that needs to be below 8°C takes priority over other food like salad and vegetables
  • If you are using commercial and domestic fridges, make sure that you move the higher risk food into your commercial fridges, as these regulate the temperature better
  • Consider replacing any domestic fridges with commercial fridges
  • If none of your fridges are maintaining a temperature below 8°C despite following this guidance, and you need to store food under 8°C then you need to buy new fridges
  • Display fridges can be problematic in hot weather. Make sure you check the temperature of the display section of the fridge using a thermometer. Don't just rely on the digital display, as this isn't always accurate
  • Keep smaller portions in the display fridge and make more use of the fridge underneath
  • Alter the digital display on the display fridge to a lower temperature
  • Reduce the amount of times you are opening and closing the fridge door
  • Make sure you check the temperature of your food. if food in your fridge is over 8°C it may mean your fridge is not working properly, or that you need to alter the temperature
  • If you have problems with your fridge freezing food overnight, then you could lower the temperature before you close for the day 
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