Health, safety and food hygiene

Health, safety and food hygiene

Schools need to ensure that school meal services meet the requirements within the following regulations.

Food Hygiene (England) Regulation 2006

These regulations apply to all businesses (not domestic) and all food handlers.  It is the responsibility of the food business operator(owner or manager) to ensure compliance. A food business includes non-profit making arrangements.   These regulations cover:

  • Registration of a food business
  • Layout, design, construction and siting of a food premises
    • general structure to be in good repair, clean, adequate size for the business, layout so as to minimise cross-contamination.
    • Toilets with wash hand basins
    • Lighting, ventilation and drainage
    • Floors, walls, ceilings, work surfaces
    • Sinks - food and cleaning
  • Waste to be eliminated in a hygienic and environmentally friendly way.
  • Pests - adequate procedures in place to control pests.
  • Temperature control
  • Training of food handlers - this may include 'on-the-job' supervision, instruction, formal training e.g. Foundation Food Hygiene Certificate.

    From January 2006, a food business operator should receive adequate training for the development and maintenance of a food safety management system (based on the principles of HACCP - Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point).  This may include on the job training, self-study or relevant prior experience.
  • Food Safety Management System - a food business operator shall implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on the HACCP principles.  This should be written down.
    • think about what you do to prepare your food safely, identify what can go wrong (the hazards) and how you can correct it.  This process focuses on the prevention of hazards in the first place rather than relying on testing food before it is sold.

General Food Regulations 2004

The main aim of these regulations is to protect human health and consumer's interests in relation to food safety.  It focuses on the actual food placed on the market for distribution/sale, not on the conditions at premises.

It is an offence to serve or offer for sale food that is considered unfit or injurious to health:

  • Unfit - i.e. food that is unacceptable e.g. mouldy food or food containing low levels of prohibited chemicals.
  • Injurious - food containing high levels of prohibited chemicals, pathogens or physical contaminants e.g. glass

The regulations also contain sections on:

  • Traceability - recent food scares have demonstrated that the identification of the origin of food is of prime importance for the protection of the consumer.  Good traceability helps with the withdrawal of food and enables consumers to be provided with information concerning implicated products
    For caterers, you need to be able to identify who your suppliers are.  Therefore, you will need to keep records of the name and address of each supplier, the nature of the products that were supplied and the date of delivery.  If you supply food to other businesses, e.g. sandwiches to a factory, schools etc, you will also need to keep records of the name and address of each customer, the products delivered to them and the date.  N.B. you do not need to keep records of every customer entering your shop.
  • Health Sensitive People - you may produce food for a specific group who are intolerant/allergic to a specific food - if the product is labelled as suitable for this group and does contain the allergen then it is classed as 'injurious to health' for that specific group.  For example, 2 carrot cakes are made both containing nuts.  One is labelled as suitable for people with a nut allergy.  However, this product does contain nuts and would be classified as injurious to health. The other carrot cake (not labelled) would not be deemed 'injurious' as it is expected that a consumer would check the product ingredients first.
  • Food labelling must not mislead customers (Trading Standards).

The Food Premises (Registration) Regulations 1991

All premises that prepare or supply food for five or more days (whether consecutive or not) in any five consecutive weeks must notify the regulating authority by writing to the relevant District Council. The relevant exceptions are:

  • the retail sale of food by means of an automatic vending machine on those premises
  • the supply of beverages, or of biscuits, potato crisps, confectionery or other similar products, ancillary to a business whose principal activity is not the sale of food

Registration should take place within 28 days unless the premises are found to be unsuitable.

Environmental Health Officers (EHO) have the following powers:

  • Give advice
  • Send a letter
  • Serve a notice - for a serious breach or repeated breach of food safety law
  • Prosecute
  • Close down a business
  • Seize food

Contact details for EHO’s:

Aylesbury Vale 
Environmental Health, High Street Office
Telephone: 01296 585605

Chiltern District
Food Safety at Chilterns
Telephone: 01494 732058

South Bucks
Telephone: 01895 837264
Email -

Wycombe District
Telephone: 01494 421734
Email: environmental


Food Hygiene Training is available through the Health & Safety Team – contact Kate Taylor 01296 382034.

Further advice, support and policy guidance is available from the Health and Safety team and from their section of schoolsweb.
Two relevant sections of the H&S handbook are:

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