Food safety for businesses

Food safety management systems

A food safety management system (FSMS) is not only a legal requirement, but a helpful tool to ensure safe practices are followed within your business.

A FSMS is a systematic approach to controlling food safety hazards within a food business in order to ensure that food is safe to eat. All businesses are required to put in place, implement and maintain a FSMS based on the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).

What is Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point?

HACCP is an international method of ensuring that food is always safe to eat. It includes identifying food hazards and working out what needs to be done to eliminate them, or to sufficiently control them.

Our food safety officers can only provide basic advice and guidance, during visits to your business, to get you started. The information provided on these pages will assist you in formulating the right food safety management system for your business. If you are unable to write and implement a food safety management system yourself, you may have to use a food safety consultant (our food safety officers are not able to act as a consultant to your food business for this service).

The links below will help you to find the right food safety management system for your food business.

Safer food better business (SFBB)

Safer food, better business (SFBB) helps small businesses with food safety management procedures and food hygiene regulations.

Safer food, better business for caterers and retailers

A food safety management system developed for caterers and retailers.

You can download the safer food better business manual, including page inserts for specialist areas, translated material in certain languages and replacement diary sheets, from the Food Standards Agency website.

Safer food, better business for residential care homes

A safer food, better business supplement to help caterers and staff working in small residential care homes prepare and cook safer food for their residents.

Safer food, better business for different cuisines

Safer food, better business has been adapted for small catering businesses such as restaurants and takeaways that serve either Chinese cuisine or Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan cuisines. Please also see the translated Cook Safe manuals below which are available in several languages: Chinese, Punjabi, Bengali and Urdu.

Other food safety management systems

Cook Safe for caterers

Cook Safe helps catering businesses to understand and implement HACCP-based systems. By reading this manual and following the instructions, you will be able to develop HACCP-based procedures that fit your needs.  Cook Safe is available in several languages, including; Chinese, Punjabi, Bengali and Urdu.  

Butchers - food safety management system

Butchers who prepare and sell both raw and ready to eat foods are required to put in place a documented food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) controls.  The FSA provide Information for butchers, and people working in butchers' shops to help them recognise food safety risks, develop procedures to manage food safety and keep food safe.

Butcher Safe

This is for UK butchers who handle or produce both raw and ready-to-eat food. This manual places strong emphasis on the control and protection of ready-to-eat food.

Meat industry guide

Guidance to assist butchers and UK meat plant operators comply with hygiene regulations and also meet the requirements for premises that require approval and veterinary control under the European Union Food Hygiene Regulations. 

MyHACCP for small manufacturers

My HACCP is a system created by the  Food Standards Agency to build your own food safety management system.  It is aimed at Small Manufacturers and complex food processes where Safer Food Better Business would not be sufficient.