Are you thinking about starting a food business? Or do you have a food business and don’t know where to start? This can be challenging but the most important thing to look for is the food safety regulatory requirements for your geographic region and for your specific sector. This article contains a few basic food safety tips for businesses that are just starting out.
Know the Laws!
The most important thing to do before opening your business is to learn the laws and regulations for the food products and services you’re selling in your specific province and country. There are different laws for different business food models, such as importing and exporting, e-commerce, and retail. There are laws specific to provinces and countries that you are doing business with. Learning the food safety regulations for your business will ensure that you are in compliance with the food safety regulatory board(s) that pertains to your business. As well as keeping you away from unnecessary delay in starting your business or license suspension or business license withdrawal.
Knowing the food safety laws about your business’s specific situations keeps your business operating safely and protecting your customers and will also guide you when taking other actions to further your business’s food safety, such as building a food safety plan.
Build a Food Safety Plan
Having a business plan in place will guide your business in minimizing food safety risks and hazards in your business by formalizing rules and procedures. It also shows what your business does to avoid hazards and what to do when something goes wrong. You”ll know steps to follow to ensure you mitigate the hazards and prevent further damage to your image, food brand, and customers.
To build a food safety plan, you need to know the food safety regulations that pertain to your business and which facility structure it needs to be created for. For example, you would typically seek a provincial Food Safety Plan for food processing establishments, food trucks, etc. In addition, you may also be required to comply with the CFIA and/or US requirements. If so, you may require an SFC Preventative Control Plan for Canadian establishment and FSMA Preventative Control Plan for US establishment. In addition, your customer may be requesting GFSI based food safety certifications such as SQF programs. A food safety plan will be required as part of GFSI programs, typically based on HACCP principles.
What is a food safety plan?
In general, a food safety plan may contain hazard analysis, preventive controls, monitoring procedures, corrective action procedures, and verification procedures.
What does SFPM Consulting do for our clients?
We help build food safety programs from scratch within 1-2 months and help train your food safety personnel to maintain the developed programs. We also provide continuous monthly support programs to help clients that need the extra boost to build and implement their food safety programs.
Want to do them on your own? We also have food safety templates to get you started with your SQF and SFCR procedures. Inquire about them here. Our templates are designed to be easy to use so you can implement the right program and procedures at your facility.
Getting certified is a great commitment step to ensure that you are compliant with the applicable regulations. It also helps to protect the customers and your business from food safety risks.
Though it is a requirement in most provinces is that business owners or at least one operator get certified in proper food handling procedures before opening, a food safety certification may not be required if it is not regulated within your food business model. You will typically see that it is more commonly regulated in higher-risk establishments such as meat slaughtering facilities.
Tips for getting certified:
- Know the requirements
- Develop food safety programs
- Implement food safety programs
- Maintain food safety programs through training and process improvements
These are key things you should do for your new food business to protect your customers from food safety risks. The most important thing is to learn the laws and regulations pertaining to your food business to build a food plan and get certified accordingly.
If you need help, SFPM Consulting can get you started with consulting and templates to build your food safety plan and pre-requisite programs. Contact us here:
Bremer, B. (2016, October 15). Five ingredients for your food safety plan. Grainger KnowHow. https://www.grainger.com/know-how/industry/manufacturing/kh-five-essential-food-safety-plan-tips.
Food safety programs. State Government of Victoria. https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/food-safety/food-businesses/food-safety-program.