The safer food better business diary

August 21, 2021
Cedric Seguela

The safer food better business diary

Safer food, better business is an information pack developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to help businesses meet their regulatory obligations. These regulations state that you must be able to prove your steps in order to insure that you’re providing safe food for consumption and written these processes down.

Everyone in the food chain has a part to play in ensuring that food is safer for consumers. Whether you are a business operator, manager or staff we all have a responsibility to maintain safe food.

The operator of the business is responsible for ensuring that food served to customers are free from harmful microbes, such as Salmonella and E.coli, and other visible signs of spoilage. All food handlers have a responsibility to follow safe methods within this pack. Problems with handling should be reported immediately by employees to the person who takes charge of the pack; they also need to make sure that all staff know how to use it and complete any daily records when not at work themselves. The pack must be reviewed on a regular basis and updated where needed.

The diary should be filled in every day by the person responsible for running the business. There is also a 4-weekly review so you can look back at previous weeks and identify any persistent problems.

Food hygiene ratings:

In order to prepare for a food safety inspection by your local council, you need to be able to prove that you are providing safe food based on the requirements in place. This will allow customers to identify businesses that have been deemed trustworthy and provide them with top-rated food items. When researching this information, it’s important to remember that ratings are simply a snapshot of the standards found at the time of inspection – not an indication of how good or bad a business is.

Your Food Hygiene Rating is based on:

• Hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage

• Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building – including appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control

• Hygienic management of food safety including the system or checks in place to ensure food sold or served is safe to eat, and that food safety is always well managed and good standards maintained

UNDERSTANDING FOOD HYGIENE RATINGS

Following an inspection your business will be given a rating between 0 and 5:

5 – hygiene standards are very good

4 – hygiene standards are good

3 – hygiene standards are generally satisfactory

2 – some improvement is necessary

1 – major improvement is necessary

0 – urgent improvement is required

Using this pack, following the directions, and completing the diary correctly will help ensure compliance with the law and maximize your Food hygiene Rating.

If you run a food business in Wales or Northern Ireland, make sure to prominently display your Food Hygiene Rating sticker at the entrance of your building for customers to see.

Laws in England encourage food businesses to do the same. Following an inspection, businesses can appeal their rating, have a ‘right to reply’ and can request a re-visit from their local council.

You must:

– keep a safer food better business diary and make it available for inspection by any authorised officer.

– write down your food safety procedures in the safer food better business diary as well as how they’re carried out on the premises; this will be based on your risk assessment.

– You may have more than 1 safer food better business diary if you are involved in other activities such as catering or retail but each record must distinguish between what is done on each premises.

– Keep the safer food better diary up to date with all changes i.e additional foods, processes etc that’s been introduced after you made the risk assessment which poses a higher level of risk.

The diary is specially designed to help you run your business effectively.

It contains:

week-to-view diary pages

checks to do every day when you open and close

4-weekly review

staff training record

suppliers’ list

cleaning schedule

The manager should sign the diary every day to say that:

• the opening and closing checks have been done

• your safe methods have been followed

The diary should only take a minute to complete per day, unless you have something important that needs to be documented.

Keep a diary of all the steps you’re taking to insure your food is safe, so if something goes wrong or anything different happens, you can refer back.

This is the regulation so that managers can show they have done their due diligence to make sure your food is safe. If the manager will not be present, he or she can give responsibility for documenting procedures to another member of staff.

Why completing these records using a digital solution is more efficient than pen and paper?

– Flexibility and convenience: digital solutions operate on your mobile phone, tablet or computer so you can carry them with you wherever you go. You don’t need a pen or paper, the system does it for you!

– Easy to update records: if anything is changed at home that requires setting up additional safer food better business diary records, these are easily done. No longer do you have to worry about forgetting something when doing the closing check!. Nothing is lost because everything is recorded automatically.

– Accuracy of information: once a safer food better business diary record has been set up, it’s easy to forget changing procedures in relation to different foods. Digital solutions help prevent such errors since all of your safer food better bureau records will be kept up-to-date

– Long term sustainability: safer food better business diaries are designed to be long lasting and reusable. They will last for years on end with the right care, and no pages that would have been torn out can get lost or burnt in a fire! If you store your safer food better business diary records online, this is also safer against loss or damage in case of theft or burglary (up to backup documents).

There’s always an element of risk involved when preparing food at home or running a restaurant – but there are steps any manager can take to reduce this risk. Use your safer food better business diary as part of these by noting down all details every time you carry out checks while providing great customer service and focusing on your business.

Qualizy excels at keeping food safety records. Our food inspectors created templates that are ready to use, and you can access them for free with your account.

Create your account today to start using these tools.

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