Why do you need a Safety Management System?
There are reasons why every food business needs to have a Safety Management System in place (and to stick to it like glue). Here are the most important:
- It includes food safety management processes, policies and procedures that combine to help reduce the chances of you causing contamination and food poisoning, to ensure the food that is produced is safe.
- It’s a legal requirement to have a food safety management system in place based on the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and to ensure your food business compliant.
- The requirement to have this documentation and to ensure that it is properly implemented, is checked during routine inspections by Environmental Health Officers, and makes up a big requirement of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
- It includes health and safety practices and procedures that if properly implemented will reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries, keeping people safe in their workplace.
- If you employ more than five persons then you are required to document your health & safety controls – this will help you to achieve this.
- It would be pretty much your only defence in the nasty event of prosecution – by providing evidence of your control measures and the checks you have carried out. In effect providing evidence that you have done all you reasonable can to ensure the business is safe.
Hopefully you’re starting to see why your Safety Management System is so important for your food business.
What exactly is in it?
The following documents are all aimed to help you run your food business safely, efficiently and practically. We’ve split them up into two sections so you can see which items help you deal with food safety and which help you look after health & safety in your business.
Food safety documents:
- Daily recording diary, incorporates all of the relevant checks into one place – cooking, hot holding, cooling, storage temps, opening checks and an area to record problems, corrective actions and any other information that is relevant to a business such as notes and instructions for staff.
- Comprehensive Food safety risk assessments which pinpoint potential hazards and outlines the important food safety controls that need to be in place.
- Other useful resources which support with the safe and effective running of the business such as a Cleaning schedule, plan, flowchart to help you keep food safe through regular and appropriate cleaning.
- An Allergen Matrix and Ingredients Cards for recording the presence of the 14 specified allergens in your ingredients and dishes, which you are legally required to declare to your customers.
- Food safety training requirements and register for you to record how highly your staff are qualified in food hygiene
- Pest control policy and register to help prevent infestation and food contamination
Health & safety documents:
- Health & safety policies and risk assessments to minimise hazards that could cause injury – these cover relevant topics such as the use of cleaning chemicals, lone working, safe use of fuel powered generators and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG).
- Complaints procedures, registers and disclaimers so you know what to do if a customer or staff member has something bad to say about your business.
- Gas and LPG safety checklists to support safe use and to provide practical solutions.
- Fire risk assessments specific to the type of unit you trade from so you can minimise fire risks and keep people safe.
- First Aid provision assessment tool and accident policy and register, so you know what to do if anyone gets injured at your workplace.
All of these essential documents, and more, are included in the NCASS Safety Management System so that you can outline and record the policies, procedures and actions you take to keep your staff and customers safe.
Why should you stick to your Safety Management System?
Carefully and conscientiously following the processes set out in your safety management system is the most efficient way to regulate food safety and health & safety within your business. When an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) visits they’ll be able review your food safety procedures in and evaluate whether your business is running safely.
The more appropriate your safety management system is for your business needs, and the closer you stick to the policies and procedures set out in it, the more likely you are to receive a good food hygiene rating. A good food hygiene rating can have such an impact on the reputation and success of your business. And NCASS wants all of its members to achieve a level 5 rating. That means you!
Following the measures outlined in the safety management system, as much as reasonably practicable, will ensure compliance and peace of mind for our members.