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Setting up a food business

Setting up a food business can be a daunting task, with a wide range of legislation that must be complied with.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have produced a booklet entitled 'Starting up - your first steps to running a catering business'.

When starting a new food business there are the questions we would ask you to consider:

Additional information

  • Does your food business want a competitive edge? - enhance your chances of receiving a score of five for Food Hygiene Rating! - Why don't you consider our 'Gain and Retain' package, which helps you to enhance and improve your food procedures.
  • Food hygiene training - food businesses should make sure that food handlers in a food business are trained and or supervised/instructed in food matters in line with their work activities. Please be advised that there are other training providers available.
  • Food Safety Management System (FSMS) - all food businesses are required to have written systems in order to show how they make sure the food they provide is safe to eat. Businesses can produce their own systems based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles or use a Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) information pack. If you would like to order an SFBB pack or diary refill, this can be downloaded from the Food Standards Agency website and the link is above. If the SFBB is not suitable for your business, you can use the MyHACCP tool to generate your own HACCP.
  • Commercial catering from home - it is becoming increasingly popular to start and run a business from your own home. When food is involved this can present a whole range of new problems that need to be considered properly before starting out. The laws on food safety apply just the same to a business run from home as to any other commercial premises.
  • Hand washing - the single most important method of reducing the spread of infection. Hands must be washed frequently with warm water and soap. While preparing food, especially between handling raw and ready-to-eat foods, after using the toilet, after touching the dustbin and when they look dirty. Domestic kitchens are not usually fitted with a separate wash hand basin, which is a major requirement of the law. Arrangements must therefore be made to enable food handlers to wash their hands. A wash hand basin in a downstairs bathroom will be acceptable. Please download a handwashing poster and display above handwashing sink.
  • National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - once you have registered with your Local Authority your business will be programmed for a food hygiene inspection. As part of the inspection your business will be given a rating as part of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The scoring criteria is explained further under the rating scheme on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme website.

Last updated: 05/10/2022 15:17

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