Common food safety mistakes made by a growing food and drink business.

Posted: 12th December 2017


By: Louise Roberts

Common food safety mistakes made by a growing food and drink business.

You have a food and drink business producing brilliant products and this is the year to grow. You have identified the people in your target marketplaces (such as retailers) and you have the capacity and logistics to deliver increased output. Your brand is performing well in its current market.

These are some common mistakes made by a growing food and drink business. In no particular order…..

Food safety

  • There is little or no consideration of the food safety requirements of the increased production. The impact of the additional ingredients, new suppliers, additional cleaning and testing has not been considered. This, in addition to unfamiliar members of staff, new equipment and changes to production methods which have not been validated and understood. Any change to the production environment needs to be modelled and discussed as part of a HACCP review. This management discussion should be an integral part of any amendments. The changes should be planned and managed to reduce the risk to the consumer and the business.


  • Any changes to labelling that may be required following reformulation, has not been understood. This is an important legal requirement. There are national recalls on a regular basis, due to the failure to declare allergens. Consider the reputational risk and cost that this creates.

Production flow

  • The flow of the food or drink production isn’t considered, leading to doubling back and moving product around, with possible cross contamination risks.
  • There is a weak food safety culture. As the business expands, a strong food safety culture has not developed alongside the expansion.
  • There is little or no technical expertise within the business, or brought in on a consultancy basis.

The final issue can be that it all happens too quickly and mistakes happen.

I hope that I have given you some food for thought. If you would like to read more, look at my website If you have questions, call me(Louise Roberts)  for an informal chat. 01684 834815.