Food hygiene certificates are used by many different businesses to prove that they meet the standards required of them under food safety regulations.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a set of standards that businesses need to follow in order to get the Food Hygiene Certificate. This is known as a HACCP Food Hygiene Certificate. The HACCP Food Hygiene Certificate sets out the specific procedures and measures you need to follow in order to ensure that your food is safe, nutritious, and suitable for human consumption.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme sets out the standards that businesses and suppliers need to meet in order to carry out their work.
These regulations are put in place to keep the food supply safe for the general public. When these regulations are not met, it can pose a severe risk to the public.
Why Is Food Hygiene So Important?
The food we eat is a source of essential nutrients and energy. It also provides us with several vital nutrients vital for our health.
However, food hygiene is not about what you put on your plate. It’s about how and where you choose to obtain it. It’s about taking the time to look after your family and friends. It’s about keeping your home and workplace safe and healthy. It’s about making sure your food is safe, tasty, and nutritious.
What is a Food Hygiene Certificate?
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme sets out the standards that businesses and suppliers need to meet in order to carry out their work. It’s also known as a ‘HACCP’ Food Hygiene Certificate.
The HACCP Food Hygiene Certificate sets out the specific procedures and measures you need to follow to ensure that your food is safe, nutritious, and suitable for human consumption.
A government-approved certification body issues it in the United Kingdom and is very important for takeaways and restaurants to uphold.
Local councils will complete a compliance visit of a food selling business and will determine a rating at of 5. If a business would like a revisit, they will have to pay which is different cost in each council. So have a look online to find out.
How Does the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme Work?
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a set of standards that businesses need to follow in order to get a Food Hygiene Certificate. It covers the following aspects of food hygiene:
1. The law and food hygiene standards – this includes your responsibilities and the legal requirements that you need to meet in order to meet the food hygiene rating scheme standards. It also includes a detailed list of the points of the standard that you need to cover, such as staff training, health and hygiene awareness, risk assessments, equipment cleaning and maintenance, and pest control.
2. Preparation and production – this section covers how your premises are set up for preparation, how you produce your food and how it is stored before service. It also covers how you store any additives or other ingredients used in the preparation of your food. This section also covers what sort of equipment you use in order to prepare your food safely, including kitchen utensils such as knives and sinks for handwashing after handling raw food. It also requires that you have a separate area for preparing potentially hazardous foods from non-hazardous foods.
3. Service – this section covers the way that you serve your food to customers, including any food and drink served in a take-away container, as well as hygiene standards for the serving area and equipment. It also covers how you store any leftover food and drinks after they have been served, such as in a fridge or a cool room.
4. Food storage – this section covers how you store your food in safe conditions so that it is not contaminated by pests or other sources of contamination. It also includes details of how you label and date your products to ensure that it is used safely and does not cause any health risks to your customers or staff.
5. Personal hygiene – this section covers basic standards for staff cleanliness and personal hygiene, including handwashing facilities at the beginning of each day and throughout the day when necessary, as well as a requirement for staff to change their uniforms regularly if they are coming into contact with any raw ingredients or products which they are serving to customers.
6. Food safety management – this section covers how you manage your food safety, including records of when and where inspections have been carried out and what action has been taken as a result, as well as details of any action plans which have been put in place to deal with any food safety issues which may arise.
7. Training – this section covers all staff training and awareness about food safety and hygiene, including details of who is responsible for ensuring that this is carried out regularly, details of the type of training which is provided, and how employees can access further information about food hygiene issues or concerns that they may have.
8. Compliance – this section covers actions that you will take if you are found to be breaking food laws or regulations, including details of any written procedures which will be followed if your business is closed down by the council or the Food Standards Agency because it poses an immediate risk to public health.
9. Record keeping – this section includes details of all the records that you must keep and how long they are kept for.
10. Additional information – this section includes details of any additional information you may wish to include, such as details of any food safety awards your business has won or details of how to contact your local council’s food hygiene department.
Who Needs a Food Hygiene Certificate?
There is actually no requirement to hold a Food Hygiene Certificate if you sell food to the general public, run a catering business, prepare food for sale or service, or manufacture, import, or export food products.
It’s worth noting business that sells food to customers still are required to hold the relevant standards under Regulation (EC) 852/2004 or risk action from local council food standards officers.
Food hygiene regulations are a lot more stringent if your business is handling food that is bought by a school, hospital, or restaurant. In these cases, you will also have to have specific food hygiene procedures in place to ensure that the food is prepared safely and correctly.
How Can You Get a Food Hygiene Certificate?
Your food hygiene procedure will depend on your type of business. If you plan to sell food to the general public, you can apply for a Food Hygiene Certificate from the local authority. If you want to sell food in a specific location (like a school or hospital), you are advised to apply for a food hygiene license from the relevant council authority. It’s best to contact the local authority or trading standards office to check what requirements apply to you.
If you can’t get a food hygiene license, you can still meet food hygiene standards through the HACCP Food Hygiene Scheme. This scheme can be used by businesses that have a lot less turnover.
It requires you to identify specific risks related to food and then put in place a plan to reduce the risk. It’s important to remember that this is just a plan. It’s not an excuse to get out of adhering to food safety standards.
How Long Is a Food Hygiene Certificate For?
A food hygiene certificate does not expire. you’re still expected to uphold high standards or risk an uninvited visit from the local food standards officer who can complete a health and safety check of the business.
What Is the Cost of a Food Hygiene Certificate?
The cost of a food hygiene certificate depends on the size of your business. It’s also dependent on how you want to pay for it. If you want to pay for it yourself, you can do so by sending a cheque or postal order to your local authority. You can also get a fee exemption certificate if you are on low income. This means that the council will cover the cost of the certificate itself.
If your business is based in Wales and is exempt from paying business rates, then you may be able to get a fee exemption certificate instead. You will need to contact your local trading standards office for more information about this option.
Once you have paid for your certificate, it should be processed within three weeks at most. Once processed, it will be emailed to you or posted out to you. It should then arrive within five working days at most.
In conclusion, all businesses must understand the importance of providing high levels of standards to ensure that customers who purchase their food are safe and protected. A food hygiene certificate is a legal requirement for all food businesses to operate, ensuring that they meet the necessary standards.
Tell us what you think in the comments, have you had any bad experiences and do you always look at the Health Standards Rating before you eat?