Food businesses need to have a documented food management system in place. All the information you need to make sure you comply with the legislation is contained in the Food Standard Agency's Safer food, better business packs.
Food hygiene training
Anyone who handles or prepares food, whether unwrapped or packaged, needs to be supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene. Employers are responsible for staff hygiene training.
Food hygiene courses
The Council offers food hygiene training courses. These lead to the Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering issued by the Royal Society for Public Health. This is an introductory level course and covers the basic food hygiene areas to ensure food is safe to be consumed by the customer.
Other training resources
- food hygiene training videos
- food allergy training videos
- the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health's food safety training programmes
Choosing the right premises for your business
When you choose the premises for your business, it is very important to make sure that they are suitable for the purpose of your business. There are particular rules about the layout, structure of food premises and the facilities that must be provided. You will find guidance in:
- the FSA's starting up booklet [pdf, 524.74KB]
You may also need to speak to the following departments in the Council:
Preventing disease and food poisoning
The following resources have details on how to prevent disease and food poisoning:
- FSA food handlers fitness to work guide information for managers and staff to prevent the spread of infection
- FSA E.coli O157 control of cross-contamination guide details how to control the risk of contamination from E.coli
You must make sure you know what to do if you serve a customer with a food allergy. If someone asks if a pre-packed food contains a certain ingredient, show them the ingredients list and any warnings on the label. Never guess.
If you sell unwrapped food or food you wrap yourself, you need to take extra care to be aware of what ingredients they contain.
The resources below contain the necessary guidance and requirements:
Food labelling helps consumers get information about their food. It is important this information is accurate and not confusing so consumers can make informed choices about the food they buy.
You have to provide allergen information for food sold unpackaged, such as in restaurants, sandwich bars, on deli counters and in bakeries. Ensure that you train all serving staff so that they can provide clear and accurate allergen information. The information below will help:
Food traceability is important. You must be able to trace all types of food back to the original manufacturer. Ensure that you:
- have documents to show where all your food items came from for example, invoices
- keep a record of what food you have sold to other businesses, and their details
- do not buy food unless you can be sure that it comes from a reliable source, and you have records so you can prove you know where it comes from
- make sure any pre-packed food is labelled correctly in English
When you import food commercially, you need to know about regulations that apply to specific products. Read FSA guidance on importing food.
Food alerts and product withdrawals
If there is a problem with a specific type of food the Food Standards Agency issues food alerts and product withdrawals.
Stay informed and sign up to receive food alerts by email or text message.