The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has proposed a simpler approach to food safety management in bakeries.

The approach includes guidelines on how to identify the most relevant biological, chemical and physical hazards at each stage of the food production process.

To help overcome this problem, EFSA has developed a simple food safety management system for bakeries that is easy to understand and implement.

The new approach uses flow diagrams to summarise the stages of production, an accompanying questionnaire and simple tables to take bakeries through the food safety management process, from hazard identification to control measures.

Marta Hugas, head of EFSA’s biological hazards and contaminants unit, said that some aspects of current food hygiene regulations could be challenging for small businesses, particularly where resources were tight or expertise was lacking.

“This simpler approach, which the European Commission asked us to develop, would make it easier for such operators to identify hazards and take action to counter them,” she said.

“It’s a practical response to a known problem that could benefit consumers and food businesses alike.”

Experts from EFSA’s panel on biological hazards have recommended that bakeries should apply the simplified approach.