Food hygiene and safety

Business food safety management

Food safety legislation makes it an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is unsafe. They also place an obligation on businesses to ensure that their activities are carried out in a hygienic way.

We aim to ensure that:

  • food businesses are approved or registered
  • manufacturers and retailers of food are regularly inspected
  • restaurants and other food premises meet strict hygiene standards
  • food is safe to eat

An estimated five million people suffer from food poisoning in England and Wales each year. Running a food business means that you have a particular responsibility in protecting the health of your customers.

Food safety management systems

If you are running a food business you are legally required to have an approved written food safety management system in place to ensure food is safe for customers to eat.

You should think about what might go wrong with the food that you sell and what you must do to ensure it is safe for your customers. You should put in place a system based on food safety practices that you are familiar with, in line with general Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). The level of documentation required will depend on the nature and size of your business.

Food Standards Agency

You can get more information, safety tips and hygiene advice on the Food Standards Agency website

Safer Food, Better Business

Safer food, better business (SFBB) has changed. It is a national food safety management system aimed at helping smaller food businesses to put in place food safety management procedures and comply with food hygiene regulations.

You can download a new printer-friendly pack here

What is new?

  • complete refresh and re-brand of the SFBB Caterers' pack
  • whole new safe method on managing food allergens in the Management section of the pack, and emphasis on allergens where applicable throughout the pack
  • new section on managing food waste in the cleaning section
  • new safety point on not defrosting chicken under running water and a link to more information on Campylobacter on the FSA website
  • additional information on barbecuing and shellfish labelling requirements
  • additional information for suppliers and Ccontractors in relation to food fraud

Food business operators that have implemented previous versions of the SFBB pack will continue to be compliant with the law and do not need to change to this updated version. However you are recommended to update your pack when you review your system.

E.coli 0157: control of cross-contamination

Guidance for food businesses to clarify the steps that they need to take to control the risk of food becoming contaminated by E.coli O157 and what businesses should be doing to protect their customers.

You can find out more here.

Allergen information

Guidance for food businesses on how to comply with Food Information Regulations in relations to allergens including online training, guidance and leaflets, can be found here.

Food safety leaflets

We have compiled some useful information about food safety and hygiene in the following downloadable leaflets;

Starting a food business

Useful information about starting up a food business can be found here.

Further information