Blog, news & updates

What is due diligence in food safety?

A chef cleaning his workspace to prevent cross-contamination

By law, all organisations that produce, distribute, or sell food must follow food hygiene practices that are established by food safety regulations to ensure that the food is safe to consume.

It is of the utmost importance that these organisations can prove that they follow these practices by keeping records of their food safety system. By keeping these records, organisations can show due diligence, which can protect them from certain legal consequences.

But what is due diligence in food safety and what is the best way to demonstrate it?

Due diligence refers to being able to prove that your business has done everything reasonably possible to comply with current legislation and regulations. In other words, it helps to prove that you applied all reasonable precautions to avoid committing an offence.

In terms of food safety, your business must prove that it has done everything reasonably possible to prevent food safety breaches from occurring.

Under the Food Safety Act 1990, a due diligence defence is the best way to prevent legal repercussions if an incident takes place that involves your business. It is designed to protect the right of traders so that they won’t be convicted of an offence if they took all reasonable care to prevent an incident.

Demonstrating due diligence

One of the most effective ways to show due diligence in a food business is through the records of your food safety system. Mainly, records of your practices and HACCP procedures. These will demonstrate that you follow the required safety procedures to ensure that food is safe to serve.

The type of HACCP system that your organisation requires may depend on the size and activities carried out. Therefore, it is important to carry out regular HACCP risk assessments to identify your requirements.

On the other hand, there are many safety practices that every organisation should have in place. For example, your records should always thoroughly explain your procedures for preventing cross-contamination. Additionally, every HACCP plan must identify what your organisation does to control critical risks.

To demonstrate due diligence, every food business should ensure their records cover the following in some way or another:

  • Your chosen HACCP system
  • Your cleaning schedule
  • Evidence that your workplace environment is compliant
  • How you prevent cross-contamination
  • Waste disposal
  • Pest control
  • Your use of suppliers
  • Records of fridge and freezer temperatures
  • Labelling procedures
  • Evidence of staff training

Online Food Safety & Hygiene Training

Anyone working where food is either made, sold, or served needs to undertake adequate food hygiene training. Here at iHASCO, we aim to make training simple.

Our online Food Safety & Hygiene Training Courses provide instant certificates to the user upon completion and give a 20 question multiple-choice test at the end to test what they have learned. These courses include our online Food Hygiene Level 1 training, Food Hygiene Level 2 Course and Food Hygiene Level 3. This is the ideal solution to show your commitment to current regulations. Get started with a free trial today!

Promo image for our Food Safety & Hygiene courses