Highlight text to annotate itX
If you are planning to open
a business that prepares sells or handles food, you must register it
with us at least 28 days before you open. There is no charge for this
and you don’t need to re-register each year. If you have more than one
food business you would need to register each one separately. It is
very important for businesses to come to us at the beginning because
they will get everything right and they will be less likely to have to
make costly changes at a later date. The food safety team are
happy to offer advice on an individual bases so you can bring
your plans into us and we will give you guidance on how to comply with
the legislation. As well as food safety you would need to think about
health and safety at work legislation, you may need planning
permission and building control for a new food business. If you wish to
have entertainment or serve alcohol you will also need to have licenses
for these activities. If you have five of more employees you will need
to have a health and safety at work policy and you will also have to
carry out risk assessments. It is against the law to smoke in most
work places and public places. In Belfast a lot of places now are
providing smoking shelters but these must comply with strict design
requirements. No smoking signs are also required to be displayed.
You will also have to consider contacting other government agencies
such as revenue and customs and land and property services. The premises
you choose must be suitable for your food business and it must allow you
to prepare food safely. Emphasis is always put to the seating area but
it is important that you have good kitchen space to allow for complete
separation of raw and cooked food during handling and storage. You
are required to have enough suitably located wash hand basins for staff
to wash their hands and there should be hot and cold running water
with materials for washing and drying their hands hygienically. The
food standards agency has published detailed guidance on hand washing
within a document entitled ECOLI 0157 An Invisible Threat to your
Business. The use of no hand operated taps is recommended but if
they are not available taps should be turned off using a paper towel.
Toilets can’t lead directly into rooms were food is handled and
prepared so you would need to have a small lobby and both doors should be
kept closed at all times. Ensure adequate facilities are available
for staff to change their clothes,
your premises must also have
adequate ventilation and depending on what type of food you produce you
may need to consider installing a grease trap. The floor and walls in
any food room must be smooth, hard wearing and washable and in a good
state of repair, ceilings should be in good condition, smooth and easy
to clean with no flaking paint or plaster. Windows which are going to
be used for ventilation would need to be fitted with insect proof
screens. Doors must be easy to clean, you will need adequate
facilities for cleaning,disinfecting and storing your utensils and
equipment. It is ideal to have separate sinks for washing equipment
and washing food and sinks used to wash food would need to have water
of drinking quality. If space is limited and separate sinks cannot be
installed, then a multi use sink would need to be thoroughly
disinfected between different uses.
Adequate procedures must be put in place to ensure pests are
controlled. You can employ a specialist pest control contractor.
Or alternatively you can carry out your own checks providing you know
where and what to look for. It is important to remove waste and other
rubbish from rooms containing food as quickly as possible to avoid it
building up. You will also need to have adequate external facilities
for disposing of and storing food waste and other rubbish.
There are specific requirements for mobile food businesses and advice is
available from our food safety and building control teams.
Hello my name is Paula, I am from Belfast City Council, environmental
health, I am here to do your routine food hygiene inspection.
An environmental health officer will carry out an inspection once your
business is up and running. If contraventions of food hygiene
legislation are found, you will be advised what you need to do to
comply with the law and an appropriate timescale will be given.
In more serious cases, enforcement action may be taken against you.
To ensure this does not happen to you
please make full use from the service and advice available from
the food safety team.
So this shows the tractability of all our food
that comes in, it shows when it's delivered, our supplier.
You are required by law to put in place food safety managing systems
and to keep up to date records of all food business activities. Your
choice of supplier is important because a suppliers' reliability and
the safety and quality of food they supply could affect your business.
Should there be a food safety incident, such as a product recall
it would be very important that you have good systems in place for
The safest way to do this, is to keep all invoices, receipts and
order forms. It is important that any member of staff who handles food
is supervised and instructed or trained in food hygiene in a way
that is appropriate for the work they do. There are a number of
different packs in various languages available from our offices and
online. Our officers will be happy to advise you on which is more
suitable for your business.
If staff have diarrhoea or vomiting they must
not handle food and must not enter a food handling area. They would need
to be excluded from work for a full 48 hours after their symptoms have
ended. After the inspection you will be given a food hygiene rating
that reflects the standards found at your premises. At the bottom of the
scale is 0 and this means urgent improvement is required, at the top
of the scale is 5 and that means the hygiene standards are very good.
This information will be made available to the public online and
you will also be given a window sticker to display your food hygiene
rating. It is important to get food hygiene right. If you get it wrong
it will be bad for your business. You could be sued by a customer or
prosecuted by the council, both of which will damage your reputation.
Don’t forget to use our web page which is regularly updated on
current food safety issues. We look forward to working with you on your
new business venture, let us help you get it right, right from the