Safer Food Better Business - Keeping Your 5* Food Hygiene Rating

Part 2 – Cross-contamination

Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) paperwork – is a bit of a drag, right? Okay, so it’s not the most exciting of jobs, but trust me it’s important. I urge you to take as much pride in the care and attention that you pay these records as you have in your food business itself. It’s the only measure your EHO has to gauge you with – impress him or her and it will pay dividends. This is essential if you want to achieve and maintain a 5* rating.

For your business to be legally compliant you MUST complete ALL 7 sections of SFBB.

So, let’s take a look at section one – Cross Contamination, i.e. the ways in which bacteria and viruses are spread.

It is vital to show your EHO that you and your staff are following best practise to reduce the risks of bacteria and viruses contaminating the food you prepare and serve. Below are the issues that are highlighted in this section; against each you are tasked with a combination of tick boxes and notes to write up to complete the paperwork.

  • Personal hygiene

  • Food allergies

  • Cloth management

  • Separating foods

  • Physical and chemical contamination

  • Pest control

  • Maintenance

The forms are designed to make you carefully consider your work methods and why you are implementing them in that way. I would argue that the easier the forms are to complete, the more efficient and therefore compliant your business is. If I could offer just one piece of advice when completing these forms, it’s this – NEVER leave anything blank. Even if you believe that something doesn’t apply to your business then say so – a simple ‘does not apply’ written in the relevant place will show your EHO that you have read and understood each section and what is required of your business.

Things go wrong in every business, we are all human after all. When a problem does occur, don’t be tempted to let it slide without documenting it properly. Make sure you write a detailed note in your Daily Diary and record it. This will enable you to spot any recurring issues at your 4 Week Review and implement measures to put things right. Believe me when I say that this will play well for you when your EHO inspects your bookwork – it will demonstrate you have an efficient system that recognises issues when they arise.

Finally, should you make ANY changes to your food hygiene practises, then you MUST update your SFBB pack. Your EHO will quickly spot if any of your paperwork isn’t up-to-date and this could cost you your precious five stars.

I hope that this helps you better understand how to approach your SFBB paperwork and the importance of keeping on top of it. I understand that all businesses are different, so please drop me a line if you have any questions or I can help you more directly. Our industry is currently experiencing tough times and a five star rating could make all the difference to your business.

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