How can you demonstrate your business has done everything reasonably possible to prevent food safety breaches
2 mins read | October 27, 2021 | FOOD LABELLING | FOOD SAFETY

All food business owners must follow the food hygiene practices and systems which have been established by food safety regulations. Strictly complying to these laws is crucial to ensure the food you sell is safe for consumers consumption.


How to prove this?

Due diligence must be proven in order to protect your businesses from any legal consequences. 

The below article will explain what the UK law says in regards to due diligence. The article will highlight the ways your businesses need to act in order to demonstrate that your organisation consistently meets sufficient hygiene standards.

What is Due Diligence in Food Safety?

Due diligence refers to being able to prove that your business has done everything reasonably possible to comply with current legislation and regulations. In other words, proving your businesses  business has done everything reasonably possible to prevent food safety breaches.

Food Safety Act 1990 was designed to protect the right of traders so that they won’t be convicted of an offence if they took all reasonable care to prevent an incident. 

The Food Safety Act states that a business has a due diligence defence if:

  • The business carried out reasonable checks of their food. The business took reasonable thought in relying on checks carried out by the person who supplied the food.

  • The offence was initiated by another person  who was not under the business’s control. For example, if the person needed to inform the business of an allergy or supply change in their recipe.

  • They had no reason to suspect that an act or omission would result in an offence under the relevant provision.

Therefore, if there is ever a legal dispute surrounding food safety, a due diligence defence will protect your business. Therefore, you should ensure that your systems are sufficient to prove you did everything possible to prevent food safety breaches.

How to Demonstrate Due Diligence in Food Premises

Due diligence can be most effective when showing through records of your food safety systems. In particular, any HACCP procedures will help to demonstrate compliance. The type of HACCP system depends on the size and activities carried out by your organization. Therefore, it is important to carry out regular HACCP risk assessments to identify your requirements.


The records should cover the below topics:

  1. Your use of approved suppliers

  2. Your cleaning schedule and personal hygiene procedures

  3. Evidence that your workplace environment is compliant

  4. How you prevent cross-contamination

  5. Waste disposal

  6. Pest control

  7. Records of fridge and freezer temperatures

  8. Labelling procedures

  9. Evidence of staff training

  10. Your HACCP system