Food safety regulations
There are specific requirements under general food law and food hygiene regulations which apply directly to food businesses. The Food Standards Agency has a specific business and industry section of their website where you will find all the advice and guidance you need to produce safe food, from allergens, botulism and e.coli to listeria and vacuum packing.
Food safety management systems
All food outlets must produce food that is safe to eat but the law requires businesses to be able show what they do to make food safe to eat, and to have this written down. They must also keep records of the checks made. The Food Standards Agency has designed a simple to use tool kit which comprises an instruction pack and a diary which allow basic records to be kept. This can be downloaded from the resources section of their website.
Important - New Labelling Rules
Allergen labelling rules will be changing on 13th December 2014.
Many food businesses are already starting to make changes to how they label allergens on their menus or food products.
You will be asked how the new laws have been applied by you when your food business is next inspected by our Food Safety Officers.
Do not wait
Check out the details from the Food Standards Agency on:
- Allergy intolerance
- Allergy labelling (pre-packed food)
- Loose foods
- Think Allergy
- FREE online Allergy training
Safer Food, Better Business
This food safety management system will assist small catering businesses comply with hygiene regulations that came into effect in January 2006. Once you have demonstrated your safe methods to ensure food safety, daily checks recorded in the diary supplied in the pack should only take a matter of minutes each day. This system will allow you to comply with law and protect your business's reputation.
Food hygiene and safety training
The rigorous enforcement of food hygiene legislation is important but it is not, in itself, sufficient to prevent food poisoning, which is normally caused by negligence or ignorance and, consequently, most experts in food hygiene believe that a reduction in the high level of food poisoning cases will only be achieved by the effective management of food safety hazards.
There is a requirement under EU Regulations that employees in food businesses should be trained in food hygiene matters to a level commensurate with their duties and responsibilities. To comply with the training requirements, food handlers and managers need not necessarily attend a formal training course. The necessary skills may be obtained in other ways such as through on-the-job training, self-study or relevant prior experience. Training of food handlers needs to include the food safety management system specified by a business.
Recognised training courses are administered by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). In addition to training in the principles of food hygiene, training will also need to cover cleaning, pest control and the principles of hazard analysis that are relevant to the work being done.
Business information on food related trading standards issues can be found at www.businesscompanion.info