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Food hygiene guidance notes and forms

October 2010

A Food Hygiene Policy is a key document that should be implemented if you are running a business in the food industry. Food businesses that find themselves on the wrong side of food hygiene laws and regulations can incur fines, penalties, face closure and the person running the business can, if successfully prosecuted, either be banned from managing a food business in the future or serve a prison sentence.

To help you put the Food Hygiene Policy in place Simply-docs has developed a set of food hygiene related record sheets and logs. It is good practice to use such documents in the day-to-day management of a food handling business. Keeping food temperatures at the right level is a crucial aspect not only of providing quality food to customers but also of meeting the relevant legal requirements. Our Temperature Log and Delivery Temperature Log are designed to encourage the effective monitoring of food temperatures. Another essential requirement is to keep your premises and equipment clean to the highest standards possible. The new Daily, Deep and Weekly Cleaning Record sheets together with the Pest Control Record form assist in the management of the cleanliness of your business.

You might think that your business is too small or too informal and that you don't have to worry about food hygiene. This is not the case - any business handling, selling, serving, preparing or storing foods has to be registered with a local authority. New Guidance Notes dealing with food business approval and registration explain the requirements for registration and approval by local authority and outline the procedure and consequences of non-compliance. These notes are useful for anyone running or starting a food business. Managers of establishments serving food for human consumption should also consider reading the guidance notes.

Whether you have an established business or are planning to start out, the Guidance Notes covering food hygiene inspection and enforcement will be a very useful read. These notes set out who can inspect your business (and how) and the consequences you might face if you are found in breach of food hygiene laws. These guidance notes also detail the right to appeal against decisions made by local authorities. Food hygiene inspection and enforcement guidance notes could form a part of new employee starter pack as they not only help to reinforce the implementation of food hygiene policy but also clarify what action any food inspector visiting the premises can take.

As the local authority can come and inspect your business after receiving a customer complaint, you will benefit from using the Customer Feedback Record to spot any possible sources of customer discontent. To ensure that all of your staff received appropriate hygiene training, ensure that a record is kept using a Staff Training Record.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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