Small food businesses have escaped a “red tape nightmare” after being excluded from stringent EU food hygiene record-checking rules for larger organisations.

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) food adviser Bob Salmon said after pressure from the organisation, Brussels had decided smaller companies, generally those with fewer than 10 employees, should follow a guide on good practice rather than HACCP.

The regulations would have forced staff to keep logs, including the temperatures of fridges and ovens, every day. The EC now requires just a record of unusual changes from small companies.

Salmon added: “The FPB advises members not to throw away all the work they have already done on HACCP as they will still have to demonstrate they are taking all reasonable steps to manage risk."