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 logically 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 exercised diligence through arrangements in place to prevent an offence being committed.

Food hygiene regulations

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

The Food Standards Agency have a pack, which can help businesses to comply with the new law and:

  • 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 and there is also a guide on how to use it.