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Terms and conditions

Last updated: 14 February 2024
See all updates
Last updated: 14 February 2024
See all updates

The Food Standards Agency websites are maintained for your personal use and viewing. Access and use by you of these sites constitutes your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. This includes a privacy statement, cookie information, copyright statement, disclaimer and hyperlinking policy.

Linking to and from our sites

Hyperlinking to us at the Food Standards Agency

We encourage users to establish hypertext links to the site. You do not have to ask permission to link directly to pages hosted on the website. We do not object to you linking directly to our information, but you should obtain permission if you intend to use our logo.

However, we do not permit our pages to be loaded into frames on your site. The Food Standards Agency pages must load into the user's entire window.

Hyperlinking by us at the Food Standards Agency

We are not responsible for the contents or reliability of external websites and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Links to external sites should not be taken as endorsement of any kind. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and we have no control over the availability of the linked pages.

You must obtain permission if you intend to use our logo. The copying and use of the FSA logo and other FSA-related logos is not permitted without approval of the FSA.

Using food.gov.uk content

The material featured on this website is subject to Crown copyright protection unless otherwise indicated.

© Crown copyright

Using food hygiene ratings information and services

Use of proprietary food hygiene ratings information and services is subject to the terms of the Open Government Licence (OGL).

The ratings are subject to change as they are regularly updated to reflect the standards found when a business is inspected by a local authority food safety officer. Users are reminded that displaying or otherwise using an invalid or inaccurate rating may constitute a criminal offence and/or expose the user to potential civil liability. It is the responsibility of users to ensure that the current rating is used or to indicate the date when the information was updated.

The FHRS imagery and the FSA logo (together the “Imagery”) are protected by registered UK trademarks and other intellectual property rights and are owned and controlled by the FSA. 

In order to ensure that the public is not confused or misled, the rules below must be followed at all times whenever the Imagery is used in any way including in: stickers and posters at premises, printed menus, leaflets and flyers, social media posts, websites and any electronic platforms or any other promotional activity and material.

  • The Imagery must not be altered or amended without our prior written permission. Permission for any change can be sought from the Food Standards Agency by contacting HygieneRatings@food.gov.uk.
  • The FHRS name and the FSA logo are an integral part of the Imagery design. They may be used in this context but must not be used in any other way without our prior written permission. Permission for such other use can be sought from the Food Hygiene Ratings Team by contacting Hygiene Ratings@food.gov.uk
  • The use of the Imagery  in any promotional activity and materials is not and must not be presented in any manner that might be seen as the FSA  endorsement of any individual food business, chain of food businesses, website, online application or other activity. Only the actual rating issued under the FHRS may be used. Should the rating of any food business change at a subsequent inspection only images of the new rating must be used and any images of previous ratings must be immediately  updated or removed from all promotional activity and materials in which they feature.
  • The FSA may grant, withhold or make conditional its permission for any of the above at is sole discretion. All other rights are reserved in full.

By downloading and/or using the Imagery each food business expressly accepts and agrees to comply with these rules in full.

FHRS stickers incorporating the Imagery are subject to all the rules above but are issued only by local authorities operating the scheme. Stickers must not be acquired form any other source, nor should any unauthorised source reproduce the stickers.

Displaying or using an invalid rating in any promotional activity or material is a breach of the above rules and the FSA’s rights. If the above rules and/or the FSA’s intellectual property rights are breached the FSA may require any use of the Imagery to stop immediately without limitation of the FSA’s other legal remedies.

It may also constitute an offence under trading standards legislation, for example under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. In Northern Ireland it is an offence under the Food Hygiene Rating Act (NI) 2016. In Wales it is an offence under the Food Hygiene Ratings (Wales) Act 2013.

Disclaimer

Every effort is made to ensure that the information provided on this site is accurate and up to date, but no legal responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions or misleading statements.

It is the Food Standards Agency's policy to obtain permission to link to other web sites, and contextual links are provided to such sites where appropriate to Food Standards Agency business. The Food Standards Agency is not responsible for, and cannot guarantee the accuracy of, information on sites that it does not manage; nor should the inclusion of a hyperlink be taken to mean endorsement by the Food Standards Agency of the site to which it points.

Use and re-use guidance for Food Standards Agency Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB)

Background

Safer food, better business (SFBB) was developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to assist small food businesses to comply with the requirements for documented HACCP-based procedures. The use of SFBB has benefits for businesses, their staff and enforcement officers.  

SFBB for caterers and SFBB for retailers were designed to work in most small catering and food retail businesses (excluding specialist retailers such as butchers, fishmongers and bakers). The food business operator completes the ‘safe methods’ in the pack and tailors them to become specific to their particular business.  

This guidance aims to provide assistance to those LAs, or private companies, who are considering developing adaptations. A number of local authorities (LAs) have produced adaptations of SFBB or additional safe methods.  

All the material in the SFBB packs is subject to Crown copyright protection.  

You may re-use the information in the SFBB pack (not including the FSA logos and photographs that are the copyright of a third party) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. The material must be acknowledged as Crown copyright and the source identified as the Food Standards Agency.  

When re-using the SFBB information the FSA logo should not be used. It should be clear the material was not produced by the FSA. The permission to reproduce Crown protected material does not extend to any material in this publication which is the copyright of a third party. Please note that some of the images in this resource are third party copyright, therefore you do not have permission to re-use them.  

Any changes made should add complete safe methods. It is not appropriate to partially re-write a safe method, as each of the existing safe methods has been validated by the FSA.  

As SFBB is a well-established brand you should not change the style, including the icons, layout of the pages and the colours used, to ensure the quality of any product produced.  

It must be acknowledged that the material used is Crown copyright and has been used with permission under the terms of the OGL. The following statement should appear on the front of the document or clearly within the document produced in a font size that is easily readable.  

The statement:  

©Crown copyright material from “Safer food, better business” Food Standards Agency, (date of SFBB version) used under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3. Any enquiries on the use and re-use of this information resource, please visit the National Archives website.

Thinking of producing an adaptation of SFBB

Before changing or adding l information to the SFBB pack, please consider whether the change is necessary or whether it could be achieved by the business tailoring the existing safe methods (by completing the ‘How do you do this?’ column) or by adding safe methods from another pack. For example, SFBB for retailers has a section on Cooking and preparation, developed with the industry to reflect the most common foods cooked or prepared in the small retail sector. It was not intended to cover the complete range of possible foods being prepared. If small retailers are cooking or preparing foods that are not covered, then they could use selected safe methods from SFBB for caterers, where appropriate.  

For some businesses, the language used in the pack may not be familiar for example, home caterers, but with support, these businesses may be able to use the existing packs successfully.  

SFBB is designed to be a simple system that does not impose undue burdens on businesses. It is very important that any new methods retain this simplicity. In particular, proposed changes should:  

  • retain options for using sensory information (for example, colour changes or food steaming) as an indicator of critical controls, and not insist on temperature monitoring through the use of probe thermometers.  
  • retain the ‘reporting by exception’ approach of the diary.  

SFBB is designed to take account of the seven principles of HACCP, but in a way that hides the complexity of HACCP from the end user. Any adaptations must retain this approach.  

No systems analysis or flow-charts should be included. Any new material should be developed within the 4 Cs/Management framework of the pack.  

Any additional material developed should retain the SFBB approach, identifying: 

  • the overall purpose of the method – included below the name of the safe method  
  • brief, simple safety points  
  • a description of why each safety point is important  
  • the key step/steps that make the food safe – for example, cooking for a certain time or until thoroughly cooked  
  • space to allow the business to confirm if they follow the advice in the safe method or describe their own procedures to control the hazard  
  • what to do if things go wrong – the corrective action  
  • how to manage the hazards in the business  
  • a reminder to make a note of any problems in their diary  

You will need to validate any new safe methods that you produce.  

Can food businesses adapt SFBB?

Food business operators are responsible for demonstrating that they produce safe food and comply with the requirements for documented food safety management procedures. This may be achieved in many ways – SFBB is just one example of a HACCP-based system.  

Businesses may use the SFBB packs as the basis for their food safety management procedures, adding material or merging existing guidance to suit their own circumstances. Where this is done, it is recommended that the SFBB pack is used to check against, to ensure that any changes made, or material added, at least covers the same ground as the SFBB materials.  

Any new safe methods, developed by a business, will need to be validated, following the ‘Prove it’ safe method in the Management section of the pack and documented in the ‘Prove it: records’ sheet in the diary, where relevant.  

Businesses should be aware that the level of record keeping required by SFBB is suggested as the minimum required for complying with the legislation. Businesses may add further records if they find this helpful or to provide further evidence of due diligence. However, the additional burden that this places on the business is their responsibility. 

As a private consultant, can I adapt to SFBB?

As a private consultant, working for a specific business and adapting the pack for that business, you should follow the guidelines for food businesses in the section above. If you are adapting the pack for any other purpose, you should follow the guidelines on formatting, content and translations and pay particular attention to the information on copyright. 

Use of our blogs and social networks

These are standard rules about posting comments on our blog and social network sites. They are designed to ensure participants feel safe, keen to take part again and keep to its focus.

  • Debate should be lively but also constructive and respectful.
  • Don't incite hatred on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality or sexuality or other personal characteristic.
  • Don't swear, use hate-speech or make obscene or vulgar comments.
  • Don't break the law. This includes libel, condoning illegal activity and contempt of court (comments which might affect the outcome of an approaching court case).
  • Don't engage in 'spamming'. Don’t advertise products or services.
  • If you are under 16, please get permission from a parent or guardian before commenting on this blog.
  • Don't impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or organisation.
  • Don't post in a language other than English or Welsh.
  • Protect your privacy and that of others. Please don’t post private addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other online contact details.
  • Stay on-topic. Please don't post messages that are unrelated to the topic.

Comments on our blog are moderated before going live. Comments will go live as soon as possible within a 48 hour period. If a comment contravenes the discussion rules it will not be published or will be removed from the blog.

Content disclaimer

Views expressed by authors (or 'bloggers') are theirs alone and do not represent the views of the FSA.

You own the copyright in your postings, articles and pictures, but you also agree to grant the FSA a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sublicenseable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, play, and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to any such work worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any media now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in such content. If you do not wish to grant such rights to the FSA, it is suggested that you do not submit your comment to this site.

You should remember that you are legally responsible for what you write. By submitting a comment you undertake to indemnify the FSA against any liability arising from breach of confidentiality or copyright, or any obscene, defamatory, seditious, blasphemous or other actionable statement you may make.

Virus protection

The site operators make every effort to check and test material at all stages of production. It's always wise for users to run an anti virus program on all material downloaded from the internet.

The FSA cannot accept any responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or your computer system which may occur whilst using material from the FSA website.

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