What food safety records are required by law?
Food Safety Records Required by Law
Following the recent release of our White Paper – Why Food Safety Records Matter, we’re taking an in-depth look at UK food law and the records it requires.
In some industries, UK law is very specific about what records must be kept. HGV drivers, for example, are required to produce standardised tachograph data showing time spent behind the wheel, speed and distance travelled.
But while food safety is clearly just as important as road safety, there are no such specific instructions when it comes to record-keeping within the food industry. That’s because there are so many different types of food and food process involved that the law simply cannot be so prescriptive.
UK food safety law requires every food business operator (FBO) to carry out a verifiable risk assessment of their own operation, identifying all potential food safety risks and then taking steps to manage them. This approach, which focuses on preventing food safety issues occurring rather than policing them after they have happened, implicitly requires FBOs to keep records of the steps they are taking to prove that they are in compliance with the law. The form and extent of these records will, of course, depend on the operation in question. For example, any food being held hot for serving must be kept above 63°C and, similarly, any chilled food must be kept below 8°C.
However, food safety records are not only important as part of this programme of inspection and prevention. When things do go wrong, people get sick and/or law enforcement subsequently becomes necessary, food safety records become crucially important, because only bona fide records of compliance with a verifiable risk assessment will be an acceptable defence in a Court of Law.
You can download Malcolm’s full report here: Why food safety records matter: an introduction to UK food law and the records it requires.
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