Posted: 10/05/2021

‘Critical’ guide to deli retailing released by Guild of Fine Food

Deli Code of Practice

The Guild of Fine Food has released its Deli Retailing Code of Practice, a package of technical and regulatory advice for specialist food retailers.

Launched in April, The Code provides specific guidance on safe retailing of key deli products and addresses the most common issues arising between small shops and environmental health officers (EHOs). 

Karen Price of the Guild of Fine Food, who is leading the project, said: “This is critical information about processes and procedures involved in running a deli that all retailers should know and be following.”

It includes food safety essentials, good hygiene practices and up-to-date trading standards, as well as answers to questions that the Guild encounters regularly, and also offers retailers protection against EHOs who may not fully understand the nuances of fine food retail.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild said: “We identified a critical need for this deli code of practice, driven by significant confusion in the deli world between retailers and their EHOs. 

“The Guild insisted that a marker be put down on an agreed-upon set of standards that in turn encourages safer retailing. 

“It’s really about how products are stored and sold and giving the retailer knowledge on how they are made. It gives us all a standard to adhere to across the industry so that the customers get food that is safe but is also sold in the right condition to enjoy.”

The guide was compiled by a team of legal, food safety and retail experts – including former FFD editor Mick Whitworth – together with advisors from Cornwall Council, with whom the Guild has formed a coordinated Primary Authority (PA) partnership.

The PA partnership – which members of the Guild are automatically opted into – offers a level of protection from challenges raised by hygiene officers against deli owners’ procedures, if they are following the advice laid out.

The Code is not set in stone, said Farrand, and will be updated as new information and legislation comes to light. “This is a living, breathing piece of work and we will have a technical committee that will look at queries and objections from either EHOs or retailers when they raise points against it and we’ll have to consider them and continually tweak the document.”

The guide is available in PDF format and is free for members of the Guild of Fine Food. For non-members, it costs £250+VAT. To request a copy of the Code of Practice, or for any further information, email

Read more…

Return to the top