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If you're setting up a food business, the law requires you to conduct a risk assessment before we can register you. 

A risk assessment asks you to think logically about what might go wrong with the food that you sell - and what you must do to make sure it is safe for your customers.

A food business should be able to show how hazards are being controlled to reduce the risks. There are three categories of food hazard:

  • Microbiological - harmful bacteria present in food
  • Chemical - cleaning chemicals getting into food
  • Physical - foreign bodies (for example glass, insects in food).

To show they are controlling hazards, food businesses need to have a system in place where they:

  • Assess possible food hazards throughout their operations
  • Highlight areas that are critical to food safety (for example cooking food to the right temperatures to kill bacteria)
  • Introduce controls at critical points.

These controls should be:

  • Monitored
  • Maintained
  • Reviewed regularly and whenever food operations change (for example when you introduce a new recipe).

These principles are the basis for the more formal hazard analysis and critical control points system used by large food businesses. The nature and size of food businesses will determine how detailed the risk assessment needs to be, and it is probable that hazards have already been identified and controlled with written systems to support the controls.

If you have responsibility for food safety management and want to discuss your food safety risk assessment with one of our officers please contact us.

The Food Standards Agency has more information that could help your business:

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