Food Safety and Hygiene

The most important things to know about selling food are:

  • The food you sell must be safe for customers to eat.
  • Allergenic ingredients must be listed for customers to see.
  • You need to have a ‘documented food safety management system’ in place to ensure that your business complies with procedures in place.
  • Your staff must be trained on how to comply with the law.
  • Your business MUST be registered with your local council environmental health office before it can sell food.

Food Safety and Hygiene (Updated April 2019)

Main principles

The first step to managing food safety and hygiene is to consider the foods you are selling or wish to sell, and how they are being stored. Some of the most common issues are set out on pages 4-5 and this guide includes a template food management system for you to download and complete.
Generally speaking, the more involvement you have in the preparation of food (making sandwiches, heating pies) the more you will have to do.

This ACS Assured Advice Guide for Managing Food Safety and Hygiene contains an overview of what is expected of you as a business owner with regards to the sale of food, either wrapped, loose or heated under food safety and hygiene laws.

Supporting materials for this advice guide are available for ACS members. For more information about these materials, please email Chloe Heyde at


More Information: Food Recalls and Withdrawals

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched new guidance with advice on food recalls and withdrawals. A withdrawal is when unsafe food is removed from the supply chain before it has reached consumers. A recall is when unsafe food is removed from the supply chain and consumers are advised to take appropriate action, for example, to return or dispose of the unsafe food.

The guidance is available here: