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European and UK legislation introduced since 2006 affects all food businesses, including caterers, primary producers (such as farmers), manufacturers, distributors and retailers. How the legislation affects you will depend on the size and type of your business.
There are specific requirements under general food law and food hygiene regulations which apply directly to food businesses. Further information about these regulations and what it means for different food industry sectors is available below:
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 of a free information pack and a diary which allow basic records to be kept.
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 not only allow you to comply with law but also protect your business's reputation.
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.
The training of food handlers will need to include the food safety management systems implemented by a business.
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.
The Food Standards Agency can offer information and advice on running a safe food 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.
Newark and Sherwood District Council