What You Need to Know About Food Safety If you're thinking about starting a takeaway food business, food safety should be at the top of your priority list.
Improper food handling can lead to foodborne illness, affecting your customers and severely damaging your business's reputation.
Luckily, there are clear steps you can take to ensure your takeaway operation adheres to food safety best practices. Here's an overview of what you need to know:
Registration and Premises
First things first - register your food business with your local authority at least 28 days before opening. You'll need adequate facilities for handwashing, toilets, ventilation, drainage, and storage. Prevent pest issues and keep the premises in good repair.
Food Preparation Areas
Design your kitchen for cleanliness. Surfaces, floors, walls and ceilings should be smooth, non-porous and easy to sanitise. Install insect screens on outward opening windows. Have separate sinks for handwashing and food preparation.
Health and Safety
Carry out a risk assessment to identify and control hazards. Document your findings in a health and safety policy if you have 5+ employees. Read up on your duties.
Assess fire risks and document your findings if you have 5+ staff. Consider firefighting equipment, alarms, and evacuation plans. Ensure competent persons perform assessments.
Food Safety Management
Implement a documented food safety management system based on HACCP principles. Identify and control hazards to prevent foodborne illness. Use available tools and resources.
Train staff thoroughly in procedures for cleaning, chilling, cooking, and avoiding cross-contamination. Supervise closely. Consider food hygiene certification for staff.
Use insulated boxes and coolant gel packs to keep food at safe temperatures during transit. Send food by overnight post.
Food Hygiene Rating
After inspection, display your food hygiene rating prominently if required. Seek legal advice if you wish to appeal your rating.
Know which dishes contain allergenic ingredients and clearly communicate this information to customers.
Keep detailed records of suppliers and buyers. Ensure pre-packed foods have proper labels.
Have protocols in place so staff know how to handle food safety complaints or concerns.
By following these food safety steps, you'll show customers you take their health seriously. For more guidance, check out the resources mentioned above. And don't hesitate to seek legal advice to ensure full compliance.