Safer Food Better Business

Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB), is a food safety management pack to help small catering businesses comply with the food hygiene regulations. The current regulations require food businesses to have written procedures in place to manage food safety.

Link to SFBB methods & diary refills 



What is SFBB?
How was SFBB developed?
How Does SFBB Work?
Help for all types of catering businesses
SFBB e-doc
Food Team Contact
Feedback From Food Businesses

Food Hygiene ratings

national food hygiene rating scheme

What Is SFBB?

'Safer food, better business' (SFBB) adopts an innovative approach to food safety management, and has been designed to be practical and easy to use for small catering businesses, such as restaurants, cafes and takeaways. It has been developed by the Agency over a number of years, working in partnership with more than 50 local authorities and associated small caterers, experts and consultants. It has been written to be as simple and jargon-free as possible.

How Was SFBB Developed

Research showed that the bulk of the UK's food premises were small, independent catering businesses that had found traditional methods of , with its scientific approach and jargon, difficult. This sector also presented significant risks from poor hygiene.

Feedback from Local Authorities showed that although progress had been made there was a need for a tool that recognised the diversity of the businesses as well as their difficulty in engaging with HACCP. The need for a simple, common-sense tool, that was practical for small businesses emerged as a requirement if further progress was to be made.

To address these issues SFBB was designed to be individually tailored by each business to meet their needs and adopted an innovative approach to record keeping. In designing SFBB, the Agency worked with a range of stakeholders and took notice of both the flexibility in the Regulation and the UK administrations overarching policy of proportionate regulation. The key flexibility in the Regulation considered by the Agency are as follows:

  • Food businesses operators should put in place, implement and maintain procedures based on HACCP principles
  • Documentation and record keeping should be commensurate with the size and nature of the business
  • The HACCP requirement should take account of the principles contained in the Codex Alimentarius
  • Establishing critical limits does not imply that it is necessary to fix a numerical limit in every case

In SFBB heavy emphasis is placed on corrective action, both daily and with a planned 4-weekly review. For small catering businesses, where the owner or manager is directly supervising the kitchen/food preparation area, the level of record keeping in SFBB is appropriate to comply with the new Regulation and minimises the administrative burden on businesses. At those times when the owner or manager is not present, he or she can delegate responsibility for the diary to another member of staff.

How Does SFBB Work?

The pack uses 'safe methods' fact sheets and a diary. The fact sheets describe the main food safety risks and how they can be managed. They are split into five sections: cross-contamination, cleaning, chilling, cooking and management. The safe methods fact sheets outline key safety points and explain their importance. They also provide businesses with the opportunity to write down how they do things, thus tailoring the pack to their individual ways of working. Pictures help to illustrate the safety points. The safe methods fact sheets also give practical tips on how to tackle problems and how to prevent them happening again. The diary includes week-to-view pages, checks to do every day when businesses open and close, a four-weekly review and other useful pages such as staff training records.

The 'Safer food, better business' approach is based partly on 'reporting by exception'. Businesses only need to write things down if anything different happens, or if something goes wrong. Otherwise, the only daily record-keeping required is to sign the diary every day to say that the opening and closing checks have been done and safe methods followed. The pack uses a specially made two-in-one binder, which allows the safe methods fact sheets and diary to be kept in one place.

Help For All Types Of Catering Businesses?

The Food Standards Agency has produced tailored versions of 'Safer Food, Better Business' for small retailers, childminders, and exotic cuisines, such as Thai, Indian and Chinese cuisines. There are also individual safe methods for particular food types such as rice, kebabs and sandwiches. Businesses can use these in conjunction with the core 'Safer Food, Better Business' pack to produce systems that are tailored for their own business.

FSA Scotland and FSA Northern Ireland have also produced packs for small catering businesses, called 'Cook Safe' and 'Safe Catering' respectively. In Wales, several local authorities have previously developed guidance packs on HACCP for caterers, or have even produced their own tailored food safety management packs that are based on Safer Food, Better Business. FSA Wales has encouraged the sharing of these packs throughout all Welsh local authorities. Catering businesses that would like to find out more about any of these packs should get in touch with the FSA by visiting  www.food.gov.uk.

SFBB e-doc

The Food Standards Agency website has now been updated to include details about SFBB which can be accessed through the 'Industry' section of the website. The main pack is available to view and download, both as individual sheets, or the pack as a whole. The site also includes a 'Frequently Asked Questions' section for new food safety legislation.

TDC Food and Safety Team, Contacts

Torridge District Council
Food and Safety Team
Riverbank House
EX39 2QG