Food safety standards and requirements

We have various standards in relation to food and animal health and agriculture.


We aim to ensure that:

  • Food businesses are registered
  • Food is correctly labelled and described and meets quality standards
  • Businesses that make or sell food are regularly inspected
  • All food premises meet strict hygiene standards
  • Food is safe to eat

Animal health and agriculture

We aim to ensure that:

  • Disease controls are complied with
  • Farm animal welfare standards are met
  • Animal feed and fertilisers are of a satisfactory quality and safe for use
  • Contingency plans for Foot and Mouth, rabies, anthrax and other diseases are in place

Handling food safely

It is important for your business that food is handled and stored correctly and is not contaminated in any way. The most serious risk is caused by a bug known as E. coli 0157 which is easily transferred from raw foods, especially red meats, to food which is ready-to-eat, such as salad or cooked dishes.

Separate work surfaces, chopping boards, equipment and preferably staff should be used for raw and ready-to-eat foods. Without separation, the only safe thing to do is prepare ready-to-eat foods in areas, and on equipment that has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

What to do if a food handler is ill

If you are a food handler and have diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms, you should contact your employer and stay away from work for 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.

Before they start work for the first time, all food handlers must receive written or verbal instruction in the 'essentials of food hygiene' which includes:

  • Keep yourself clean and wear clean clothing
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling food, after using the toilet, after handling raw foods and waste, after every break, after blowing your nose
  • Tell your supervisor of any ear, nose, throat, stomach or bowel trouble
  • Never cough or sneeze in a food room
  • Cover cuts and sores with a waterproof, high visibility dressing
  • Do not prepare food too far in advance of service
  • Keep perishable food either refrigerated or piping hot
  • Keep raw and cooked food separate
  • Clean as you go - keep equipment and surfaces clean
  • Follow the instruction on food packaging

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