The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced an additional million pounds worth of grants to local authorities to help caterers comply with new food safety laws.
It will be used to implement the FSA's Safer Food, Better Business programme (SFBB), which is designed to help small businesses manage food safety and reduce the number of people affected by food poisoning.
Together with the existing funding for SFBB, totalling more than £10m over three years, the extra money will ensure that 150,000 scheme advice packs reach caterers.
David Statham, director of enforcement at the FSA, said: "Major changes have taken place in food hygiene controls since the beginning of the year, with the requirement for all businesses to have formal food safety procedures in place."
Research by the FSA conducted before the new food safety laws came into force found just 39% of businesses had fully satisfactory food safety management procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. This was voluntary at the time of the survey, but is now mandatory.
New EU hygiene legislation came into force in January 2006.
By Chris Druce