All food businesses, small or big, whether operating from a food stall, a mobile unit, business premises or just in your home, should adhere to the critical legislation regarding food safety and hygiene. You as the business owner are responsible for the safety of the food you produce lest you find yourself in the corridors of the courts seeking to find the answer. Below are a few tips to get you started:
- Register the food business
Even if you are operating from home, you need to register the business with a competent authority to be awarded a certificate of operation. There are a number of competent authorities to register with, so check what these are depending on the requirements in your region. It will also depend on the type of your business, for instance, if dealing with meat or poultry, you need to avail of information if it is going to be handled or processed.
- Approval of business
You may need the approval of a competent authority if your business processes or handles foodstuffs of animal origin. Examples of such businesses include meat processors, slaughterhouses, producers of dairy products and producers of eggs among others. Once the business is approved, you are given an approval number that can either be stamped onto a cut of meat or a carcass in the form of a health mark. It can also appear on labels or packaging as an identification number.
- Food hygiene legislation
Regardless of the size of your food business, it must comply with the governing rules for hygiene legislation. The rules can be more general or specific including temperature control, HACCP training, transport, equipment, personal hygiene, and waste. You do not want to place unsafe foodstuffs on the market, so familiarize yourself with these legislations.
- Food safety management system
There must be a system that is put in place to ensure that the food you produce is safe. One such system is hazard analysis and a critical control point (HACCP) and is based on several food safety principles. You should undertake proper training if you are to apply the HACCP principles yourself.
- Food safety training
Since safety principles might change due to the changing Mother Nature issues, you might want to undertake food safety training. A manager, for instance, will require training for those serving foodstuffs. Similarly, HACCP comes handy in food safety, so familiarize yourself with the principles too. And you do not have to attend the training course; you can get an in house trainer or simply take advantage of the e-learning programs.