Food Safety – how to prove due diligence


Due diligence is not required by law. It is a defence which the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 allows you to use if you become involved in legal proceedings. Showing that you have used due diligence should also help you to avoid committing an offence in the first place.

How do I show due diligence?
Every case will be different and will depend on factors such as the size and type of business and the sort of food involved. In general you will need to be able to show that:

· your premises and equipment comply with the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006
· you have a satisfactory hazard analysis system
· you buy food from suppliers you know to be reputable;
· food is kept at the correct temperature
· you have a proper stock rotation system
· you and your staff have had adequate food safety training

Do I need to keep written records?
It is good practice to keep records and it will be very difficult for you to show due diligence without them. These might include:
· records showing the checks you have made on your suppliers;
· details of your “hazard analysis” system, (the points in your business you have identified as critical to the safety of food and the way in which these hazards are controlled)
· temperature records for fridges and freezers. These should be checked at least daily
· production records if you are making large batches of food
· a cleaning schedule with records to show that equipment is checked to make sure that it has been cleaned properly
· pest control records
· staff food safety training records and certifictes

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