YOU HAVE A GREAT IDEA FOR A NEW FOOD BUSINESS…………but make sure you follow the top tips below to get your food safety procedures right from the start to avoid costly mistakes and to keep your customers safe.
Register your food business with your local Environmental Health Department al least 28 days before you start trading.
Remember to include your head office contact details if applicable and an up to date email and telephone number. Similarly your registered address will be where your business is located or if you are have a mobile where the food is prepared/where your mobile is kept.
Ensure you and your staff are trained in food hygiene in line with the activities of your food business
It is recommended that staff who prepare high risk food should be trained to a Level 2 standard or equivalent and managers/supervisors to Level 3.
Put in place a Food Safety Management System appropriate for the food safety risks in your food business
Safer Foods Better Business (SFBB) is an appropriate for small food businesses and is available for different industry sectors and in different languages, you can download SFBB packs for free https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/safer-food-better-business . Similarly you could have a bespoke system written for your business.
Include controls to prevent cross contamination of allergens
Write these down and above all make sure all your staff are trained on this procedure (unless you decide to opt out). For more information see my Blog post>https://www.foodsafetylogic.co.uk/free-allergen-management-advice-for-caterers/#more-225
Create monitoring records to help manage the risks in your business
For instance cleaning schedules, hot food temperature and fridge/freezer records, daily opening and closing checks etc.
Install a dedicated wash hand basin for staff in the preparation area
Make sure you provide a good supply of hot and cold water, soap and hand drying facilities such as disposable paper towels or blue roll.
Provide signage to signpost your customers to your allergen information
This could be on your menu, chalkboard or a sign displayed in an obvious place, for an example see: https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/allergen-signage.pdf
Put together allergen information on all the food you produce and serve
It is recommended to document this information and review it regularly so it is accurate, in addition don’t forget ‘may contain’ precautionary allergen labelling, for more information see my Blog post https://www.foodsafetylogic.co.uk/precautionary-allergen-labelling-pal/#more-146
Train ALL your staff on allergen awareness
Staff must be able to give accurate information to customers with allergies, they could attend a Level 2 (or equivalent) allergen awareness course or online training.
Set up a trade waste contract for waste and recycling
Also don’t forget waste oil – this must be disposed of by a registered waste carrier.
Develop a procedure for checking for vermin/pests
This could be done as part of your daily checks or by employing a pest control contractor.
Provide a sanitiser/disinfectant in all preparation and service areas
This should comply with the BS EN 1276 or 13697 standard – check the bottle as some supermarket brands don’t comply. In addition check the contact time required.
Make sure your staff follow good personal hygiene and wear a clean uniform
All staff who are preparing or serving food should follow your uniform policy and should not wear jewellery, have their hair tied back and wear a hair net/hat if appropriate and have clean and short fingernails.