Food business mentoring services

Are you a business interested in obtaining advice from the food team at Cambridge City Council?

We feel it's in everyone’s best interests to ensure that food safety is maintained and improved within businesses so that your customers can feel assured that the food they eat is safe.

Who better to ask for advice on compliance?

We are the people who carry out enforcement visits on a daily basis and ensure that people are complying correctly with legislation. Therefore we are in a great position to now offer a low cost bespoke mentoring service for businesses who request our help in order to raise standards.

We understand that some businesses may find food safety legislation complex and find it difficult to apply it to their own businesses and therefore we offer this mentoring service so that we can help you to do this. 

(NB: This service is aimed at businesses within Cambridge City; however if you have a business outside of the city and wish to discuss our service provision, we may consider helping you on the basis of reimbursement of our travel related expenses (travel time and mileage)).

New business advice prior to opening

When opening a new food business it can seem complicated in relation to what may be required on your first food hygiene inspection and how you even advise the local authority that you wish to trade as a food business.

We can offer new businesses advice, prior to opening, such as:

  • The need to register the food business with us and how this should be done;
  • Guidance on layout and structural requirements at the premises;
  • The level of food hygiene training that staff should have;
  • The need for a documented food safety management system.

Why choose us?

Obviously the advice, if followed, should result in a subsequent straightforward inspection visit as you will be aware of the rules and regulations with which you need to comply and therefore an acceptable food hygiene rating score should be achieved.

The cost

A visit for this purpose will be charged at an hourly rate of £50 (a minimum 1/2 hour rate applies) and the time required for this visit will depend on the depth at which you would like our assistance.

For example:

Simply assessing and commenting on prepared plans that you may have regarding the layout of a small premises, having discussed the intentions for the business, should not be more than an hour.

Helping you to complete a documented food safety management system by carrying out Coaching in the Safer Food Better Business pack, or for us to provide more detailed advice, will take longer.

Following the visit we will confirm in writing what has been discussed so that you can be sure you have something to work with to ensure that the required standards are met.

Book our service

To book a convienent time and date, or to discuss the provision of this service, call 01223 457900 and ask to speak to a member of the Commercial Food Team within Environmental Health or email env.health@cambridge.gov.uk with your request, business name and contact details.


Mentoring advice for businesses wishing to improve their Food Hygiene Rating

How we can help

We can help all businesses that may have had a poor food hygiene rating and wish to raise this by fully understanding how the food legislation applies to their business and we will customise our service to your needs.

We have often been advised how insurance premiums have been affected by poor ratings and therefore this visit, as well as encouraging you to produce safe food in a hygienic environment, may save you money.

We can also help good business who may just need a little extra help gaining a food hygiene rating of 5 by discussing issues raised on their food hygiene inspections and ensuring improvements are made.

What the visit cover

The mentoring visit will cover issues such as:

  • The structure of your premises;
  • The cleanliness of the structure and equipment;
  • Food safety management and your documented systems;
  • Cross contamination risks, specifically relating to the Food Standards Agency E. Coli guidance;
  • Temperature control;
  • Personal hygiene;
  • Pest control
  • Any other issues that you or we feel are specific to your business.

The visit can also involve any staff that you may have to ensure that they are also aware of their responsibilities and that procedures that you have put in place, are being followed by the staff in the business.

After the visit

Following the visit we will confirm in writing what has been discussed so that you can be sure you have something to work with to improve conditions.

We can also show you how to request a re-score revisit so that you may be able to demonstrate that what has been discussed, has been put into practice so that by raising your standards, you should achieve a higher food rating.

The cost

In general we feel that a mentoring visit will last between 2-4 hours at a cost of £50 per hour (a minimum 1/2 hour rate applies).

As we are a public service we can't make a profit and that's how the costs are kept so low.

Book this service

To book a convienent time and date, or to discuss the provision of this service, call 01223 457900 and ask to speak to a member of the Commercial Food Team within Environmental Health or email env.health@cambridge.gov.uk with your request, business name and contact details.


Coaching in the Safer Food Better Business documented food safety management system

In 2006, a free food safety management system called Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) was launched by the Food Standards Agency. It was designed to help smaller businesses and caterers to meet the legal requirement of having a documented food safety management system complying with the principles of HACCP.

However, businesses still seem to be having difficulties completing it and using it correctly to demonstrate that food safety is being controlled.

How we can help

We can help businesses by offering a coaching session enabling you to complete the Safer Food Better Business pack tailored to your business. Each coaching session would be carried out on your business premises to ensure it relates to your business and will take approximately 4 hours to complete.

Who the coaching sessions are for

SFBB coaching sessions are aimed at business owners and/or managers, although sometimes it's helpful to also have chefs present. On many occasions, managers complete the pack and we find that practices in the kitchen are different, as the chefs have developed their own systems which are not comparable with those detailed in the pack.

When the session is completed we will award the business with a Cambridge City Council certificate of attendance on a SFBB coaching session.

The cost

This coaching session will cost £50 per hour (a minimum 1/2 hour rate applies), which is extremely good value to have a professional enforcement officer help to guide you through the completion of the Safer Food Better Business pack specific to your business and the provision of an attendance certificate.

Book this service

To book a convienent time and date, or to discuss the provision of this service, call 01223 457900 and ask to speak to a member of the Commercial Food Team within Environmental Health or email env.health@cambridge.gov.uk with your request, business name and contact details.

Contact us

Food safety management

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