Every food business in the UK has a legal responsibility to:
- make sure food is safe to eat
- make sure it doesn’t add, remove or treat food in a way that makes it harmful to eat
A very important part of fulfilling this legal duty is creating a Food Safety Management system, using the principles of Hazard analysis and Critical control points (HACCP). HACCP is a system that helps you identify potential food hazards and introduce procedures to make sure those hazards are removed or reduced to an acceptable level.
These procedures will help you produce and sell food that is safe to eat, providing you:
- keep up-to-date documents and records relating to your procedures
- regularly review your procedures to ensure they reflect what you produce or how you work
Creating a HACCP Food Safety Management System
To create a comprehensive food safety management system, you will need to consider the entire journey of the food you produce, starting with the source of your ingredients and covering areas such as food handling, storage, cooking, cleaning and staff training.
A great resource to help you with this is the Safer Food, Better Business resource provided by the Food Standards Agency. This book walks you through each area of your business and tells you what you need to look out for, what records you need to keep, and how often you need to review your processes.
Safer Food, Better Business highlights the importance of good record keeping when producing food that is safe to eat. Good records will instil a culture of diligence within your food business and will also help prove to an EHO that you are doing things right.
The key records that most food businesses will need to keep are:
- Delivery Schedule, showing that temperature, dates, packaging and labels are checked for all food deliveries
- Fridge and freezer temperatures, checked twice daily
- Core cooking temperature of high risk foods checked daily
- Cooling times and temperatures of all high risk foods that are cooled
- Kitchen and premises cleaning schedule
- Ingredients listings, including the 14 listed allergens
For more information, The Safer Food Group offer a Level 2 HACCP awareness course that looks into each area of Food Management in closer detail, explaining how to get it right – and what can happen when you don’t!