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SFBB: SFBB - Frequently Asked Questions

We have collected a series of questions about the SFBB system to help you get to grips with it, if you cannot find the answer here please email NSF-CMi and we will try to answer it. To find answers to your questions click on a question below:

What’s in it for me?
SFBB provides you with a recognised, documented food safety management system which will enable you to comply with the requirements of the law, as long as you follow it.

It is designed to cut out jargon and can be easily tailored to your businesses. It will be widely recognised by Local Authority EHO’s, and will also have a significant impact on the rating of a business within the national "Scores on the Doors" programme. In essence this is a “name and shame” system, with inspection ratings and possibly inspection reports posted on-line for public scrutiny. Central to the award of a star rating is the level of compliance and contraventions determined through inspection visits, and core to this is the requirement for a documented food safety management system. Without it a business will get a lower published score which cannot be amended until the next scheduled inspection. High scoring sites may be rewarded with lower risk ratings and reduced inspection frequencies.

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What is the Safer Food Better Business system?

It is a simple to follow system focusing on the 4 'C's:

  • Cross Contamination
  • Cleaning
  • Chilling
  • Cooking

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Why Safer Food Better Business?

Over the past ten years there have been over fifteen separate pieces of legislation. Many businesses are unclear about what they need to do to comply with the new laws.

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What do I need to comply?

You will need a free SFBB pack to suit your business and you can book a coaching session to help you with best practice in complying with the system. To pay and book a session click here or call 07092 889 359. This Safer Food, Better Business Pack has been developed by the Food Standards Agency to help small catering businesses comply with the new regulations. A full copy can be downloaded from the FSA’s website www.food.gov.uk/catering, or a paper copy can be ordered by calling FSA Publications on 0845 606 0667 or by e mailing foodstandards@ecgroup.uk.com.

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What is in the pack?

The SFBB pack is split into five sections each containing a number of fact sheets called "Safe Methods", which can be easily implemented and can fit into everyone’s business in a tailor-made fashion depending on the food being handled and served.
A simple diary system is also provided for minimal record keeping, and to allow common problems to be identified and put right.
The SFBB System:

  • Simple to follow system focusing on the 4 C’s
  • Keeps record-keeping to a minimum and reduces the risk of mistakes through the completion of a daily diary
  • Only needs to take a few minutes a day
  • Provides an excellent training resource for your staff
  • Recognised and endorsed by your Local Environmental Health Officers, who will look for compliance in future inspection visits
  • A positive influence on your Local Authority "Scores on the Doors" rating

All packs now come with a free DVD which will help you understand how to complete the pack and will allow you to easily train your staff in the system. The DVD is in sixteen different languages.

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How much work is involved?

The NSF-CMi coaching visit will take either 2 or 3 hours, depending on how much support you would like. The SFBB booklet contains five sections and it is estimated that each section should only take about an hour to complete and the diary should only take a couple of minutes each day. This will save time over the current system as there will be less paperwork to complete and you will have an ongoing record of your food safety activity.

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Currently I write down different temperatures everyday – Do is still need to do this?

Keeping records, for example fridge temperatures and the core temperature of food to be served, is good practice which helps to identify when a problem arises. SFBB still requires you to monitor such temperatures, but you only need to record the details of problems that have arisen and what you have done to put things right.

If you want to continue to write down such temperatures daily then you still can.

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What happens once I have implemented the system?

Once you have implemented the SFBB pack you need to ensure that it is correctly operated on a daily basis by you and your staff.

You should also ensure that you review the SFBB diary every 4 weeks and when the nature of your food offering changes, for example introducing new dishes, a new menu, or perhaps new catering equipment.

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What happens if I don’t adopt SFBB?

The new regulations require you to adopt and operate a documented food safety management system, and SFBB has been created to help you to comply with this requirement. If you choose not to use SFBB and do not implement and maintain any other suitable documented system, your Local Authority EHO will require you to resolve this deficiency. If you fail to do so your business may be subject to enforcement action and further failure to comply may result in prosecution.

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What experience do NSF-CMi’s SFBB coaches have?

NSF-CMi has recruited and trained over 150 coaches stretching across all major parts of the country. These coaches have a minimum Advanced Food Hygiene qualification, strong coaching and training skills, and above all else, solid catering experience often in businesses similar to your own. NSF-CMi coaches can therefore understand your business, your staffing issues and the constraints which you may have to operate. NSF-CMi has demonstrated through the successful coaching visits undertaken up and down the country, that “caterers talking to caterers” about SFBB really does work.

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Do I need additional training?

A NSF-CMi coaching visit should provide you with sufficient knowledge and information to successfully implement and maintain the SFBB pack. You can however book an additional follow up coaching visit by NSF-CMi should you feel that you will benefit from it. The coaching visit for SFBB, however, does not replace the need to ensure that you and your staff also have a basic level of general food safety knowledge.

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How does SFBB link to the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and Scores on the Doors?

The national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is now being implemented with over 160 local auhtorities signed up. This is replacing the old Scores on the Doors schemes. Central to the award of a FHRS rating is the level of compliance and contraventions determined through inspection visits, and core to this is the requirement for a documented food safety management system. Without it a business will get a lower published score which cannot be amended until the next scheduled inspection. High scoring sites may be rewarded with lower risk ratings and reduced inspection frequencies.

To see more information on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme click here.

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What happens if I have to re-schedule my NSF-CMi coaching visit?

If you contact NSF-CMi and request that you scheduled coaching visit is cancelled or re-scheduled with less than three working days notice, you will be charged the full value for the coaching visit.

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