Good food safety is essential to make sure that the food you serve is safe to eat. It helps prevent food poisoning. 

When you are setting up a food business, you need to introduce ways of working that will help you set good food hygiene standards. 

Personal hygiene

One of the most common causes of food poisoning is poor hygiene of a food handler.

All food handlers should:

  • regularly wash their hands with hot water and antibacterial soap 
  • wash hands after using the toilet, after handling raw food, after breaks, when unwell and after using cleaning products   
  • cover any cuts, burns and sores with an appropriate waterproof dressing 
  • keep fingernails clean and short without nail varnish 
  • wear clean protective clothing and a head covering 
  • remove jewellery, hair grips and watches 
  • not wear strong smelling perfume 
  • report any illness or disease which may be transmitted through food 

Food premises cleaning

Premises that prepare or serve food must make sure that food, surfaces and equipment are clean and safe. 

Cleaning should involve the removal of food residues, dirt and grease by scrubbing using heat or chemicals such as detergents. 

Disinfection should be completed to reduce bacteria to a safe level. This is usually carried out using food hygiene chemicals or using hot water of around 82°C or steam. 

A final rinse should be used to make sure all surfaces and equipment are free from chemicals and safe to use. 

Temperature control

It is important that food is kept at the correct temperature to reduce the risk of contamination and illness. 

Food hygiene regulations require that food is kept at a temperature of below 8°C and that cooked food is 63°C or above. 

It is recommended that you monitor temperatures once or twice a day. You can use our fridge or freezer checklist and temperature record form to record temperatures. 

Food safety training

If you want to learn more about food safety, there are three accredited awarding bodies for food safety training qualifications: 

Other courses or food safety qualifications are available but may not be regulated in the same way.

More information

You can find more information on good hygiene practice in UK Hospitality’s catering industry guide.

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