Shropshire Council

Guidance for food businesses

Caterers and retailers

You may find it useful to take a look at 'Food Hygiene: A Guide for Businesses', a booklet covering the basics for catering and retail food businesses.

Food safety management systems

Food businesses are required to have documented procedures to show what they do to keep food safe. Completion of the Food Standards Agency’s “Safer Food Better Business” pack is one way in which you can comply with this requirement.


If you're a small manufacturing business and the SFBB pack is not suitable, then MyHACCP is a free web tool that will guide you through the process of developing a food safety management system based on hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) principles


Premises that handle both raw and ready to eat products, butchers shops for example, are classed as being high risk. The Food Standards Agency provides information on the more rigorous procedures required by such premises.

Cross-contamination factsheet

Cross-contamination is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157, campylobacter and salmonella can easily spread to ready-to-eat (RTE) foods, such as salads and cooked foods, through direct contact with raw foods, or indirectly by staff, equipment, contaminated surfaces or cleaning materials.

Contaminated food can make your customers seriously ill, and can even kill. Our factsheet, if followed correctly, will help you control the risk of cross-contamination within your business.

Food handlers: fitness to work

Diarrhoea and/or vomiting are the main symptoms of illnesses that can be transmitted through food. Staff handling food or working in a food handling area must report these symptoms to management immediately. Managers must exclude staff with these symptoms from working with or around open food, normally for 48 hours from when symptoms stop naturally.

In addition, all staff who handle food and who work around open food must always wash and dry their hands before handling food, especially after going to the toilet. This is because it's possible to be infected but not have symptoms.

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

To help food businesses get the most out of their food hygiene rating, the Food Standards Agency has produced an online toolkit that offers ideas on how to promote hygiene standards, and help increase the number of customers who come through the door or order online.

Food allergen information

From 13 December 2014, all food businesses have needed to provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in food sold or provided by them.

There are many resources available from the Food Standards Agency to help you comply with this requirement. Their allergen page explains more.

Our other food safety pages give further advice.