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The 'Recipe for Safety' initiative

The 'Recipe for Safety' initiative started in the early 1990's following the Health and Safety Commission's concern that injury rates in the food and drink industries were too high.

HSE's Food and Drink Manufacture Section held meetings with the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the main food industry trade unions (GMB, USDAW, T&G and BFAWU) to progress health and safety issues. This liaison also led to a written agreement known as the 'Common Strategy' which set out targets for injury reductions and actions each party would take to achieve these targets.

In 2004 liaison was considerably extended, to encompass most food/drink industries, with the formation of the Food and Drink Manufacture Health and Safety Forum. This forum drove forward a range of priority health and safety issues to further reduce the main causes of injury and occupational ill health.

By 2012, over 20 years since the joint HSE/food industry 'Recipe for Safety' initiative started, food and drink manufacture injuries had more than halved. This is largely due to the sustained effort to improve health and safety by manufacturers, trade associations and trade unions. The Food Manufacture Health and Safety Forum continues to take a leading role in monitoring health and safety in the industry, transferring good practice between the many food and drink industries and progressing national initiatives. Forum members have revised the 'Common Strategy' document which sets out actions each party will undertake to further progress the 'Recipe for Safety' initiative.

The revised 'Recipe for Safety' booklet remains the core publication of the initiative. This booklet sets out the priority health and safety issues for the food and drink industries, gives benchmarks for performance, suggests how the issues can be tackled and includes a management action plan. The booklet is supported by a wide range of HSE and industry publications and web pages specific to the food and drink industries.

Updated 2020-09-07