Home  >  EN  >  About us  >  Food safety, nutrition and integrity


quality food

We manufacture food that is not only great tasting, but also meets the highest standards of safety. In addition to customer requirements, the Group is subject to extensive food safety regulations and, where required, governmental monitoring where we operate.

At Bakkavor we use Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (“HACCP”) principles to identify any potential food safety risks and ensure they are effectively controlled when developing and manufacturing its products. These procedures form the backbone of Bakkavor’s Quality Management Systems and Standards. In total, Bakkavor employs almost 700 food safety professionals.

Sites are audited regularly, often on an unannounced basis, by internal food safety experts, customers and independent bodies for compliance with food safety standards.

In the UK, as well as having food safety experts at each of our sites, we have a dedicated central technical team overseeing operations. The team comprises in excess of 60 colleagues, and are experts in microbiology, chemistry, produce, pesticides, process innovation and all aspects of designing and maintaining chilled food factories to the highest standards.

In the UK, Bakkavor conducts over 1,500 in-house microbiology and chemistry tests every day. It is this detailed approach that ensures that all 23 of the Group’s UK manufacturing sites hold certification at 'AA+' or 'A+' grade against the British Retail Consortium Global Standard – Food Safety.

In the US, we ensure that our facilities adhere to the highest food safety standards set by institutions including US Food Safety, USFDA and USDA.

In China, we passed the American Institute of Bakery Audit, a very high food safety standard in the bakery industry. Our site in Hong Kong gained accreditation in of their HACCP plan and certification against ISO22000, a Food Safety Management System Certification by the International Organization for Standardization.


As a leading food producer, we recognise the significant role we can play in shaping food habits and behaviours. We support the growing trend for healthy, convenient food, and through our insight and innovation capabilities, we do our utmost to provide consumers with nutritious and fresh food choices that help support a healthy lifestyle.

Together with our customers we are responding to healthy eating trends by reviewing salt, sugar and saturated fat levels in our food. This includes introducing new healthy food options including several well-publicised and successful vegan ranges and products.

In 2022, of our UK product portfolio:

  • 52% of our product ranges are vegetarian and almost one in five (19%) are plant-based.
  • 83% of our products are already compliant with the Food Standard Agency’s salt reduction targets for 2024.
  • 62% of our products are healthier options as defined by the UK’s Department of Health UK Nutrient Profiling Model.
  • Over 390 of our products contain at least one of the recommended five portions of veg portion and we’re working hard to increase the veg content in our product ranges


Our success in continuing to deliver products of the highest quality to our customers is built on trust and our ability to consistently deliver high standards of raw material integrity and traceability.

Our Food Safety and Integrity approach aims to minimise the risks of unauthorised or unsafe food ingredients entering the Bakkavor manufacturing chain.

Suppliers into Bakkavor UK are required to meet British Retail Consortium (BRC) or Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) accreditation as a minimum food safety standard. Furthermore, as part of our approach to Responsible Sourcing we operate a supplier code of conduct that promotes transparency and traceability within the supply chain. We also maintaining a regular audit, testing and traceability program to monitor performance of relevant suppliers.

Also known as ‘food fraud’, our strategic approach to Integrity relies upon intelligence gathering from a variety of sources; verification processes that include laboratory analysis, traceability checks and audits of materials where claims are made; and a governance process that includes supplier audits or investigations, to manage the variety of materials we source from across the world.

Regular audits and trace exercises play a strong role in helping us to monitor the integrity of our ingredients. Where testing is available, the raw materials are analysed at specialist accredited laboratories. Supply chain traceability is also used to verify the authenticity of specific materials. 2021 saw us almost double the number of traceability checks and tests conducted compared to 2020. 2022 saw us complete over 100 tests or traces on our materials, and over 100 supplier audits.

Where we identify high risk ingredients, we work directly with our suppliers to understand their control systems, share best practice and reduce the risks of fraud and adulteration in the global supply chain. Where our analysis or trace procedures identify irregularities, we take rapid action to implement control measures and ensure corrective actions are robust and sustainable, to improve the supply chain visibility and integrity.

Our focused horizon scanning helps to identify where potential issues in the supply chain may impact Bakkavor. Through our Fera Horizon Scanning system and information through our membership of the Food Industry Intelligence Network (FIIN), along with other sources, we are able to access relevant data and intelligence on issues related to food safety and integrity. We share relevant information with our suppliers to alert them to potential risks in the supply chain and put in place appropriate controls to manage the risks.

In 2022, we saw an increase in incidents and alerts across the wider food industry. Alerts are issued where a tangible threat from a raw material may be linked with Bakkavor product, supply chain or country of origin. Over 50 alerts were coordinated through our Central Technical Integrity team, where actions or responses from suppliers are tracked.

Some of the more significant impacts in 2022 across the industry with the potential or actual risk within Bakkavor supply chain were:

Avian Influenza (AI) impacting our poultry and egg supply chain across UK and EU. The outbreak last year saw the highest number of AI cases ever recorded. This year the scale of the outbreak had the potential to impact on our EU exports. This has been managed and coordinated via our Procurement, Technical and the Export teams.

A major chocolate supplier notified the industry of a micro contamination from their supply chain which forced two sites to temporarily stop production and Bakkavor to seek alternate sources for certain materials.

Another supplier was involved in a national food safety incident which resulted in 111 product recalls, impacting our cooked chicken supply. Bakkavor’s Technical team followed up with an investigation and audits, before supply was recommenced.

Mustard allergen was reported in Italian wheat flour from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), which led to the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) investigation and impact for the industry at the time. This was later recognised as potential cross reactivity within the test and the FSA agreed on no further action.

Additionally, the Russian invasion of Ukraine significantly impacted food supply chains – in particular sunflower oil. Due to the scale and speed in which disruption occurred, the FSA agreed a temporary derogation for UK businesses impacted to declare substitutions of oils used within finished products. This affected over 800 separate raw material incidences.

Fiin logo