Top 20 Tips for Success With Food Safety

food safety tips for food businesses

My Top 20 Tips for Food Safety Success

One of the most common cause of failures at the food hygiene inspection will be in not documenting HACCP procedures (or food safety management procedures). Other frequently flagged issues involve a lack of temperature monitoring, a lack of food hygiene awareness (training), poor cleanliness and inadequate controls to prevent cross-contamination. Food safety success doesn’t come easily.

There are many areas where you can fall foul of the legislation and invite the disapproval of a food safety inspector. When I’m auditing a business I have about 100 different areas that I look into but let’s make it simple. Try using the following 20 questions as a quick compliance checklist to see how well you are doing. I’ve broken the questions down into three key subject areas; structural issues, hygiene and safety practices, and management issues.

Structural Issues

1. Is the internal structure in good repair and condition?
2. Are walls, floors and food surfaces made of materials that are easy to clean?
3. Is there a separate wash hand basin in use in food prep areas?
4. Do all sinks and basins have a hot water supply?
5. Is the premises free from pests?
6. Do you have separate storage for raw and ready to eat food?

Hygiene and Safety Practices

7. Are all areas, fixtures and equipment kept clean?
8. Do you have hand soap and paper towels at all wash hand basins?
9. Do you know why and when a food handler might need to be excluded?
10. Do staff understand the term ‘cross-contamination’ and know how to prevent it?
11. Are raw foods and ready-to-eat foods stored and prepared separately?
12. Is the shelf-life of food controlled (e.g. by date coding)?
13. Are staff clear about what to do if someone inquiries about an allergen?
14. Are disinfectants or sanitisers being used properly?

Management Issues

15. Do you have a documented food safety management system in place?
16. Do you have up to date records in place (e.g. temperature records)?
17. Have food handling staff received food hygiene training?
18. Do have sufficient knowledge of your food hygiene responsibilities?
19. Have you always completed previous requirements and recommendations?
20. Do you exhibit a positive attitude towards food hygiene?


If you answered “NO” to more than a few of the above questions you are unlikely to be managing food safety effectively. However, it does depend upon the degree of seriousness associated with each non-compliance.

(Find out more about starting a food business).

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