Food hygiene legislation has changed - new requirements came into force on January 1st 2006 that affect all food businesses. In particular there is one major new requirement…
The new food laws bring together and extend the requirements of the current UK food hygiene laws, but here’s the important bit – if you run a food business you will need to have a documented food safety management system. In other words, you will need to say what you do to make food that is safe to eat and have this written down.
The amount of documentation you will need will be related to the type of food you prepare/handle and the risks presented by your business. A full Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is more suited to food manufacturers who produce larger amounts of similar foods. This system doesn't easily work in catering such as a restaurant or pub kitchen where the menu continually changes and is made up of lots of different menu items, and many people have had difficulty in understanding it.
We therefore needed to consider how these smaller food businesses comply with these new requirements without introducing an unnecessary burden. Following extensive consultation with the catering industry the Food Standards Agency has developed Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB).
What is Safer Food, Better Business?
Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB) is a simple fact sheet system that shows how to ensure that the major potential hazards in catering business can be safely controlled, namely those to do with:
- Cross contamination
SFBB is designed to be simple, and can easily be made to fit your catering business. Each SFBB pack is split into five sections containing a number of fact sheets called ‘Safe Methods’. Typical safe methods would include instructions on 'Cooking Food Safely' and 'Reheating' for example. The idea is that you look at the pack and decide which safe methods apply to your business, and then follow them. There are about twenty methods in total covering aspects of the '4Cs', but not all of them will apply to all businesses.
A simple diary is also provided, for appropriate record keeping. This also includes a four-weekly review to ensure that the document remains up-to-date and to allow common problems to be identified and addressed. So, from 1 January 2006, you will need to have a documented food safety management system – it doesn't have to be SFBB but any alternative may involve a lot of work for you if you do not already have such a system in place.
How do I get an SFBB pack?
Download an electronic copy of the pack from the Food Standards Agency www.food.gov.uk
Order a hard copy of SFBB pack by calling the FSA on 0845 606 0667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The packs are to be provided free of charge, although the implementation will require your time to complete each section.
Safer Food, Better Business for Caterers
The Food Standards Agency has launched Safer Food, Better Business a food safety management pack developed to help small catering businesses such as restaurants, cafés and takeaways comply with food hygiene regulations introduced in January 2006. The pack can be download in pdf format from their website at http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/regulation/hygleg/hyglegresources/sfbb/sfbbcaterers
There is also a DVD guide which can be used to help train staff on SFBB, which is available in 16 different languages. The guide is divided into separate sections for staff or managers, which each take about 15 minutes to watch. This can be viewed online at www.food.gov.uk/sfbbtraining.
To order a copy of the pack or the DVD, call FSA Publications on 0845 606 0667 or email email@example.com.