The Health and Safety Consultant keeping small business safe
    Home » Food - HACCP

Basic Food Hygiene

Food Hygiene Regulations 2006
Food Hygiene (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

Food Safety Management - HACCP

Food safety management procedures

You must put in place ‘food safety management procedures’ based on the principles of HACCP (hazard analysis critical control point).

You must also:

keep these in place permanently

keep up-to-date documents and records relating to your procedures

review your procedures if you change what you produce or how you work

In practice, this means that you must have procedures in place to manage food safety ‘hazards’ in your business. You must write these procedures down, update them as needed and keep records that can be checked by your local authority.

The regulations are designed to be flexible, so these procedures can be in proportion to the size of your business and the type of work you do. This means that many small businesses will be able to have very simple procedures and simple records.

What is HACCP?

HACCP is a way of managing food safety. It is based on putting in place procedures to control hazards. It involves:

Looking closely at what you do in your business and what could go wrong

Identifying the ‘critical control points’ – these are the places you need to focus on to prevent hazards or reduce them to an acceptable level

Putting in place procedures to make sure hazards are controlled at your critical control points

Deciding what action you need to take if something goes wrong

Making sure that your procedures are working

Keeping appropriate records to show your procedures are working

HACCP does not have to be complicated.  The important thing is to have a safety procedure in place appropriate to your business.

What is a hazard?

A hazard is something that could be dangerous. In relation to food, a hazard is anything that could make food unsafe to eat.  For example:

microbiological – involving harmful bacteria, e.g. when certain foods are kept out of the fridge for too long and bacteria grow in them

chemical – involving chemicals getting into food, e.g. cleaning products or pest control chemicals

physical – involving objects getting into food, e.g. broken glass or pieces of packaging

Hazards can happen at any stage in your business – from taking deliveries to serving customers.

How do I put in place food safety management procedures?

Begin by examining your business and making a note of the stages through which foods pass from ordering them, collecting or transporting them, to storing, processing and serving them.  These are the critical control points.

Write down the hazards associated with each stage of the process.

Write down your control measures – the steps you take to reduce the risks and what steps you need to take if anything goes wrong.

Check your procedures from time to time to make sure they are working and make a note of the review dates.

Your Local Trading Standards Office may be able to help.

Answering the questions on the Food Hygiene Checklist is a good place to start using the guidance from the Food Standards Agency - Food Hygiene a Guide for Businesses

Do all catering businesses and shops selling food need to put in place these procedures?

Almost all will need to put in place these procedures, but it may not be necessary in some businesses with very simple processes. In this case, businesses can comply with the legal requirement by following good hygiene practice. Contact your local authority for further advice.

Further sources of information

The Environmental Health Department of your local Council for information and advice.

You can also visit the Food Standards Agency website at

Contact us to help you conduct a full risk assessment of your premises

Additional Reading:

Registering Your Food Business
Basic Food Hygiene

If this free information was useful, please recommend us or like us on our Facebook Page.

Like us on Facebook for Free Updates Like us on our Facebook Business Page for Free Legal Updates


Safer Food Better Business - Retail

Safer Food Better Business - Small Catering Businesses

Food Hygiene - A Guide for Business

Starting Up - Your First Steps in Running a Catering Business