food safety services 2
3rd June 2016

Why wait to react when an incident occurs within your industry before introducing a robust system to assure the safety of your food suppliers?

If one of your food suppliers caused you to have an incident, are you confident that you could demonstrate due diligence at the point of purchase? We explain the options available to you!

All food businesses need to have a policy in place to help ensure the food you purchase is safe. What this policy consists of will depend on the size and also the nature of your operations, for example if you supply high risk groups or large volumes your policy is expected to be more rigorous.

Food Safety & Food Suppliers – What Are Your Options?

Options to choose from when formulating your policy for food safety from your food suppliers at the point of purchase are:

Using Reputable Food Suppliers

Use of tried and tested, reputable food suppliers as your only control measure is likely to be regarded as sufficient only for small, independent food businesses.


A self assessment supplier questionnaire is the next step up from using reputable food suppliers. A simple questionnaire can check fundamentals such as whether the supplier has a HACCP system, that staff are trained, the results of last EHO inspection etc. Depending on the size and nature of your operations, a questionnaire may not be adequate, particularly for high risk food suppliers.

Site Visits/Bespoke Audit

It may be appropriate that you conduct a site visit or undertake a formal audit to assess food safety standards. This should be by someone with suitable experience and food safety qualification.

Using Certified Food Suppliers

One robust way in which to help ensure your food suppliers are of a certain standard is to require that they have audits and also gain suitable food safety certification from a reputable, independent food safety consultancy.

Ensure your food suppliers to submit a copy of their food safety certificate from a recognised body. It is though vital to hold current certificates.

Certification available from STS are:

  • STS Code of Practice
  • Public Sector Code of Practice
  • BRC Global Standard – food safety
  • BRC Global Standard – storage & distribution

STS “Due Diligence” Supplier Assessment

At STS we manage the supplier assessment programme for many of our clients. STS liaise with each supplier to determine what independent, third party food safety certification they have in place. Additionally, we’ll assess whether this is suitable to provide assurance to our clients organisation. Otherwise STS will undertake an audit against a suitable standard, depending on the nature of the supplier and their needs.

The management of your supplier assessment by STS should significantly reduce the risk of incidents. If you have any issues then STS will be there to help you demonstrate due diligence.

Need Help?

Don’t risk losing your hard earned reputation to a food safety problem caused by one of your suppliers?

To discuss the assessment of your suppliers, call us today on 01252 728 300


Get In Touch