EU food safety legislation

16/04/2007 - 00:00
Question: "I understand that there are new EU food safety rules that will mean lots more paperwork. What will I have to do to comply?"

Answer: From David Bashford, director of consulting services, Food Alert Food Safety legislation in Europe changed from January 2006 and applies to all food businesses. Under Regulation (EC) No.852/2004 of the European Parliament you must put into place, implement and maintain a food safety management system based on the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP). The previous regulations required food operators to carry out a hazard analysis, but now you must keep documentation to demonstrate the application of the control measures. A HACCP system means looking at the high-risk foods on your menu and identifying how they are handled from purchase of the ingredients through to service to the customer. Then you need to establish what food safety hazards apply at each stage: for example, cross-contamination during storage or maybe undercooking. You should decide whether control must be in place at that point in order to prevent food poisoning or physical contamination, or whether a subsequent step will deal with it. These are Critical Control Points (CCPs). In order to demonstrate that your controls are working, you should record any deviations from the system and this may mean that you need to record food temperatures. Those responsible for the development and maintenance of the food safety management system must have received adequate training in the application of the HACCP principles. If you have taken a formal food hygiene course at either Intermediate or Advanced level, then this will satisfy the requirement. Alternatively, one-day HACCP courses are available from a number of providers. You can always read up on the topic and the Food Standards Agency provides guidance. Weblink: www.foodalert.com Disclaimer: This document reflects the law and practice. It is general in nature, and does not purport in any way to be comprehensive or a substitute for specialist legal advice in individual circumstances.

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