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.
What is a Food Safety Management System?
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, set out in Article 5 of EC Regulation 852/2004. It involves identifying food hazards and working out what needs to be done to eliminate them, or to sufficiently control them.
How do I start?
You, or, someone in your business needs to have sufficient training or knowledge of hygiene matters and the activities in the business in order to write up a suitable food safety management system, or adapt one that has been produced as a model template.
The type of system you need will depend on the size and type of business. Large businesses and manufacturers will need very detailed written systems and highly trained people to write them, but small caterers will only need a simple system.
Safer Food Better Business
A ready-made FSMS called Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) has been developed by the Food Standards Agency for use by smaller food businesses and is available free to download from the link below. It consists of a pack of ‘Safe Methods’ which focus on the areas most commonly associated with food poisoning: cross-contamination, cleaning, chilling, and cooking.
There are also specialized ‘tailor-made’ SFBB packs available for retailers; childminders; caterers; and restaurants and takeaways that serve different cuisines eg. Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, etc. There is also a supplement for care homes (to be used with the caterers pack).
To accompany the SFBB packs a DVD guide, available in 16 different languages, has been produced to help food businesses implement SFBB and train staff on SFBB.
Schools and caterers
Schools and other organisations preparing/serving food in a variety of contexts, can also comply by making use of the catering version of the Safer Food Better Business pack. However, they may need to adapt the pack to their own requirements.