The Food Standards Agency has unveiled a new, easy-to-use online hub for food businesses, containing a raft of guidance and advice all in one place.
The regulator said the new Here to Help hub on the FSA website brought together its most popular guidance pages, including how to set up a food business, how to achieve a good food hygiene rating and how to manage allergens to keep customers safe.
Businesses can also find new case studies on the FSA blog, including examples on how to work with local authorities and how the FSA can help “get food business off the ground and grow safely and successfully”, it said.
“We know that new businesses find it difficult to know where to start,” it said.
“We also know that many aren’t aware it is their legal duty to register with their local authority at least 28 days before opening their business.”
According to the FSA’s Register a Food Business digital service, of those registering through its online registration service from September 2018 to April 2023, some 43% were already trading when they registered.
It added the hub made it easier for food businesses to find the information they needed to ensure they get their hygiene and standards right to protect consumers from the moment they open.
“At a time when new food businesses are facing cost pressures and other challenges, the FSA and local authorities want to make it easier for businesses to do the right thing,” said Katie Pettifer, director of strategy and regulatory compliance at the FSA.
“Our new online hub has the advice and guidance that any new food business needs to make a success of running a compliant and safe business.”
Whilst the hub is a distinct, standalone project by the FSA, its launch comes a month after the regulator pledged to improve its approach to how it protects the food system against rogue actors after coming in for criticism over how it handled the recent meat sector fraud scandal.