What is a Food Safety Management System?

restaurant kitchen where people are preparing food

A food safety management system (FSMS) is defined as ‘a systematic approach to controlling food safety hazards within a food business in order to ensure that food is safe to eat’. It’s essentially a documented set of organised procedures and principles that outline how to manage food safety within a business.

If you own a food business, you are required by law to have and maintain an FSMS based on the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). HACCP is a system which helps ensure that the food you sell is safe to be consumed. As its name suggests, HACCP aids you in identifying potential hazards and how to control them.

Your FSMS must be documented to allow easy access to environmental health officers and your employees. This can be done on paper or digitally.

An FSMS may include:

  • HACCP systems
  • Relevant checks
  • Staff training records
  • High-risk foods & their control
  • Best practices

What’s Purpose of a Food Safety Management System?

The purpose of a food safety management system is to ensure that food is safe for consumption. Furthermore, it demonstrates legal compliance and presents written evidence of what you’re doing to maintain and control food safety.

If food safety is not properly managed, your employees and customers will be put at risk, which can result in harm being done, complaints, fines and even closure. Therefore, having a food safety management system helps keep your brand reputation intact.

stack of white binders and documents to illustrate food safety management systems

Types of FSMS

There are different types of food safety management systems. The size and nature of your business will determine which system is most appropriate.

“Safe Food Better Business”, for example, is suitable for small businesses. “CookSafe”, on the other hand, is a system designed to help catering businesses in Scotland to understand and develop HACCP procedures.

Here at Complete Food Safety, we’ve designed an FSMS in a clear, easy-to-use format with concise language and engaging graphics (and no technical jargon). Our FSMS is the perfect foundation for achieving the coveted 5-star food hygiene rating, and is suitable for a wide range of operations such as restaurants, pubs, clubs and coffee shops. Find out more about our solutions for food safety management here.