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Food safety management systems

Find out what you need to do and what records you must keep to make sure your food is safe to eat.

Food law means you must write down how you do things and keep records to make sure that your food is safe to eat.

If you do not do this, under the Food Hygiene Rating System (FHRS), you will not score any higher than a rating of 1. This means that major improvement is necessary. It will be shown on the public FHRS website.

Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB)

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has developed a free pack called Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB). This is to help small food businesses set up a documented food safety management system. It contains safe method sheets and a diary.

The safe method sheets highlight things that are important. They make sure you keep a record of how you prepare and cook your food in a safe way. They also provide advice on what to do when things go wrong.

You have to sign the diary every day to say that you have followed the safe methods. There is space to note anything different that happens or goes wrong.

Download a safer food, better business pack

You can print out the new version of the diary refill if you only need that part of the pack.

You can also buy a Safer Food Better Business pack or a year’s diary refill. These prices include postage and packing.

  • SFBB pack plus a year’s diary - £20
Buy a SFBB pack and a year's diary
  • 1 year’s diary refill - £5
Buy a SFBB one year diary
You can also call 01803 208025 to buy a pack. Please have your card details ready for payment.

There are different SFBB packs available. They aim to meet the needs of specific food businesses such as:

  • caterers
  • retailers
  • childminders
  • specialist cuisines businesses

These are available in other languages.

Smaller businesses

We have also produced a simplified SFBB pack. This is for:

  • bed and breakfast businesses run from the home (domestic property)
  • small-scale food businesses operating from home, such as a home baker

Small scale means:

  • 10 or fewer at any single meal or
  • less than 20 meals per day for high risk foods, or
  • the production of low risk food on an infrequent basis

If you are already using SFBB for caterers you can continue to do so. You may want to use the new style diary sheets from this pack.

Larger businesses

For some larger businesses, your food safety management system may need more detail. The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system may be more suitable. It helps food business operators look at how they handle food. It provides procedures to make sure the food produced is safe to eat.

Develop your Food Safety Management System