The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations apply to any 'food business', which means any undertaking whether carried on for profit or not

The general obligation is that the preparation, processing, manufacturing, packaging, storing, transportation, distribution, handling and supply of food are carried out in a hygienic way. Every person working in a food handling area must maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness.

A proprietor of a food business must identify any step in the activities of the food business, which is critical to ensuring food safety, and make sure that adequate food safety procedures are identified, implemented, maintained and reviewed. This means:

  • making sure food is supplied or sold in a hygienic way;
  • identifying food safety hazards;
  • knowing which steps in the activities are critical for food safety;
  • ensuring that safety controls are in place, maintained and reviewed.

Controls do not have to be complex. There are systems that can be used by food businesses to ensure that hazards are identified and controls are in place. The process is known as Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP).   It involves the following principles.

  • Analysis of potential food hazards and where they occur
  • Decide which points are critical to ensure food safety
  • Effective control and monitoring procedures that must be reviewed periodically

Local Authorities have been asked to pay particular attention to these control points and assess whether monitoring is adequate.

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