Starting a new Food Business
Starting a new Food Business
Before you begin trading you need to ensure have essential safety and hygiene measures in place.
(Health & Safety in workplaces)
- Risk Assessment
As an employer, or a self-employed person, you are responsible for health and safety and required to manage the risks in your business.
A good place to start is the Health and Safety Executive's website - `Health and Safety made simple` - here you will find basic information on how to comply with the law.
HSE: Five Steps to Risk Assessment takes you through writing a risk assessment. A number of example risk assessments have been produced to show how small and medium-sized businesses can approach risk assessment. These maybe useful when writing your own.
We offer several health & safety training courses. For details of courses follow this link: Training Courses
(Food Hygiene requirements)
Food businesses are required to register with their local authority. For information on how to register follow this link: Food Premises Registration
We strongly recommend staff who prepare open foods and/or have a supervisory role attend the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering within 3 months of starting work to demonstrate they have been adequately trained. This should be refreshed every 3 years. For details of courses follow this link: Training Courses
- Food Safety Management System
This is a document showing how the food you make is safe to eat. The Food Standards Agency have produced the 'Safer Food Better Business' (SFBB) pack to help small food businesses comply with this requirement.
You can download and print for free the following packs;
- Caterers pack
- Chinese cuisine pack
- Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan cuisine pack
- Retailers pack
- Childminders pack
- Care homes supplement (to be used in conjunction with the caterers pack)
If you do not have any printing capabilities, new businesses can collect a free SFBB pack from the Chiltern District Council offices in Amersham.
SFBB is not suitable for all types of food businesses, such as butchers serving both ready-to-eat and raw food, and does not cover processes such as, vacuum-packing, jarring foods, sous-vide cooking or preparation of raw dishes e.g. sushi. In these cases a more detailed food safety management system based on HACCP principles is required. For further information see our factsheet [304kb] and guide to producing a HACCP [354kb]. For small food manufacturers there is the MyHACCP online tool created by the Food Standards Agency.
- Structural Requirements
Layout, Design, Construction and size;
Make sure the premises permit good hygiene practice and permit easy cleaning, and protect against risk of contamination.
Floors, Walls, Ceilings and Work surfaces
Suitable materials for walls include; Washable painted plaster, Epoxy resin and similar coatings; Ceramic tiles; Stainless Steel sheeting, PVC and other proprietary sheeting. Wall surfaces must be smooth.
Suitable materials for floors include; Flooring tiles (quarry, ceramic or vinyl), Washable safety flooring; Vinyl safety flooring; cast in situ resin.
Suitable materials for work surfaces include; Melamine; Stainless steel, Ceramic, Granite, Food grade plastics.
Suitable ceilings include; smooth washable painted plaster, direct fixed ceiling systems and suspended ceilings.
Hand washing facilities and toilets;
Hand wash basin preferably at the entrance to the kitchen and separate from the food/equipment sink, supplied hot and cold, hand drying facilities (preferably paper towels) and soap (preferably dispensed anti bacterial soap).
Toilets must not lead directly into the kitchen.
Two sinks are preferable to allow washing and rinsing.
Separate sinks for food and equipment must be provided if the volume of preparation in the kitchen demands it.
This will depend upon the type of cooking/ food preparation you are doing in your business. In a large catering business we would expect a ventilation system capable of 30 air changes per hour.
- Food labelling
For information on food labelling requirements visit Trading Standards (Bucks County Council) website.