Hazard analysis

What is hazard analysis?

A food business is legally bound to make sure they carry out their activities in a safe and hygienic manner.  They must therefore consider each step in the production of their food, and decide whether there is a potential for the food to be made unfit to eat by any physical, chemical and microbiological hazards.  If so, they must then put in place a control to remove that hazard.

This process is called hazard analysis, and is not difficult to carry out.  There are several documents available giving guidance on how to complete a hazard analysis, which all cover these main points:

Identify the hazards

  • physical / foreign bodies - such as glass, metal, plastic & insects
  • chemical - for example, cleaning materials or pesticides
  • microbiological - bacterial that cause food poisoning

Identify the activity / process / step where the hazard exists

  • delivery
  • storage
  • preparation
  • cooking
  • cooling
  • reheating

Decide what control measures can be used to eliminate or reduce the hazard

  • delivery - use reputable suppliers, check goods on receipt
  • storage - store at safe temperatures, separate raw and cooked
  • preparation - use clean equipment, good personal hygiene
  • cooking - cooking to a safe temperature
  • cooling - cool food quickly to a safe temperature
  • reheating - reheat food to an adequate temperature

Monitor to ensure that controls are working

  • delivery - check date marks, temperatures etc
  • storage - check temperatures, conditions
  • preparation - clean equipment etc
  • cooking - cooking times
  • cooling - cooling times, conditions
  • reheating - temperature checks

Review the hazard analysis system and make sure you have not missed any hazards.

More information

Alternatively you can request a copy of these guidance documents from the Food Safety Team by calling (01273) 292161 or by emailing ehl.food@brighton-hove.gov.uk.