What is flexibility as referred to in food legislation?
A certain degree of flexibility is permitted in regulations related to hygiene. The purpose of flexibility is to facilitate the operations of small businesses in the food industry. Flexibility is possible in e.g. the structural requirements of food premises or the kinds of premises that may be used to handle animal source foods. For some requirements, the applicable legislation or instructions already allow flexibility. In other cases, flexibility must be negotiated with the local food control authority, whereupon the authority decides on a case-by-case basis whether flexibility can be applied. As a food industry entrepreneur, you should contact your local food control authority to inquire if flexibility rules can be applied to your business operation. Your local food control authority can advise you on the types of issues where flexibility is possible.
Own-check activities have plenty of flexibility
As a rule, you have plenty of flexibility in your own-check activities and preparing an own-check plan, depending on the type of food industry operation you are engaged in. An example of such flexibility is that your own-check plan does not always need to be in writing, if your operation is small-scale and low-risk. An example of a small-scale operation is a food kiosk that only sells packaged foodstuffs that do not require cold storage.
Your local food control authority will evaluate the sufficiency of your own-check activities during inspections and advises you on possible flexibilities.