Keeping Records and Food Safety
24 November 2023
Keeping records and food safety are integral components of a sound Food Safety Management System. These records should be kept on a daily basis. Record keeping does not need to be complicated or time consuming. It is important to keep important information that along with written down procedures demonstrating what a food business does to ensure safe to eat food is provided. In addition, the law requires food handling businesses to keep certain records.
Things that records should include are, e.g.:
- Daily Checks.
- Supplier Information.
- Staff Training Records.
- Anomalies (unusual things and things that went wrong).
Checks to make at the beginning of the day:
- Checking the temperatures of fridges and freezers.
- Confirming that sufficient supplies of cleaning materials are available.
- Ensuring that premises are clean and ready for food preparation to commence.
- Confirming that staff are appropriately dressed and fit for work.
Checks to make at the end of the day include:
- Making sure that all food has been put away or, if it is past its ‘Best Before’ date thrown away. Some useful information on shelf-life of food products can be found in eLearn Safety blog entry Shelf-life of Food Products from 10th March 2023.
- Checking that all bins in the food preparation area have been emptied and the bags renewed ready for the next day’s business.
- Making sure that disposable cleaning cloths, aprons etc., have been disposed of in the waste.
- Checking that reusable cleaning cloths, aprons etc. have been put in the right place to be taken away for cleaning.
The following are useful records to keep about suppliers:
- Contact details (address, telephone number, email address, supplier representative details).
- What products are ordered from the supplier.
- How much is usually ordered and how often.
- How long it takes after placing an order to be delivered (‘lead time’).
In addition, the following records must be kept:
- What food products have been bought.
- From whom products were bought.
- The quantity of bought food.
- The date they were received.
Staff Training Records
The things relating to staff training records should include:
- The type of training.
- Who received it.
- The date training took place.
- The outcome (e.g., food safety training certificate).
Before a new food handler is allowed to handle food, they must receive written or verbal instruction in the essentials of food hygiene. Everyone who handles food must be trained and qualified, and records of training and refresher training should be kept. eLearn Safety offers fully online food safety training. eLearn Safety online courses are convenient, affordable and user friendly courses developed with students in mind.
The purpose of Food Safety training is not only to gain the Certificate which someone will keep at the bottom of their deepest drawer, piled with many other long lost and forgotten items. The purpose of Food Safety training is to learn how to handle food in a safe and hygienic manner as in the end, all food handlers have a legal and moral duty to keep their customers safe from harm. The Certificate itself is just a nice add-on.
If something that was unexpected happens, or if something goes wrong in the food handling area, it is important to make a note of it. For the sake of keeping records and food safety, it should be recorded what was done about it to put things right.
For example, if a food handler mistakenly puts ready to eat food on the bottom shelf of the fridge and unwrapped raw meat on a plate above it. This can result in juices from the raw meat to fall onto the food below. In this case actions done to correct this should be noted. For example, the records might look something like the following:
- Threw away ready-to-eat food as it was unsafe to eat.
- Disinfect the fridge.
- Wrapped the meat and put it in the proper place in the fridge.
- Conducted refresher training with the food handler concerned.
Safe Catering Pack
Using the pack will help to:
- Produce safe food.
- Comply with food hygiene law.
- Train staff.
- Protect your business’ reputation.
The pack was designed for caterers, but it may also be used by other food businesses. It is ideal for businesses that have not yet developed their own food safety management system but may also be used by businesses to improve existing systems.
Online Food Safety Training
Please remember – it is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity!
Myelearnsafety offers fully online Food Safety (HACCP) courses.
To find out more, please check our Courses page.
Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email firstname.lastname@example.org