Opening a new food business

Using a food safety management system

You will need a written food safety management system, based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles, and have to ensure it is implemented and maintained.

A simple way this can be achieved is by using the Food Standard Agency's Safer Food Better Business Pack. This has been developed to help small catering and retail businesses such as restaurants, caf├ęs, takeaways and shops comply with food safety regulations. 

Advantages of using Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB)

  • It provides you with a documented food safety management system in an easy to follow, ready made pack.
  • If followed and maintained, SFBB will ensure you comply with the requirements of food safety legislation.
  • It is designed to cut out jargon, and can be easily tailored to your business.
  • It will be recognised and used in food businesses throughout the UK.
  • It will help ensure that you produce safe food and may result in fewer visits by your Environmental Health Officer.
  • IT'S FREE. All that's needed will be your time to complete each section.
If you already have a satisfactory documented food safety system in place which has been provided by your parent company or has been developed in-house, it may mean that you already comply with the food safety requirements. You are however advised to speak to your company or contact us for further advice.

How to obtain a SFBB pack

You can download a pack from the SFBB pages of the Food Standards Agency website.

Implementing the SFBB system

It is suggested that food businesses should complete one of the five sections per week and that each of the five sections should take one hour to work through.

Once you have implemented the system, you need to ensure that it is adhered to by you and your employees. You should also review your diary every 4 weeks and when operations change, such as style of cooking or use of new equipment.

Time Needed and Record Keeping

With SFBB, filling in the diary is the only daily record you will need to complete. This should only take a couple of minutes each day. You don't need to keep lots of records. Once you have worked through the safe methods, you will have a record of what your business does to make sure the food is safe to eat. This will only need to be reviewed and amended if you change the way your food business operates.

Recording fridge temperatures

Keeping a written record of fridge temperature is good practice, and helps to highlight when a problem arises. SFBB still requires you to monitor fridge temperatures, but you would only need to make a record when problems have arisen and what you have done to correct them. If you are already recording the fridge temperatures and cooking temperatures daily then we would recommend that you continue to do so.

Getting more help

We will be available to help you to implement the pack and will continue to provide advice and guidance on all other aspects of food safety. Contact us if you need advice or assistance.