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The importance of food hygiene courses

If a Food Standards Agency and local authority inspector called in to your premises, unannounced as always, would they deliver a 5* Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme score?

Unless you can call your operation and employees perfect, with no knowledge gaps or mistakes, there is room for improvement. Even an eatery or food manufacturer that has a 4* rating has work to do. Complacency and inattention can prove costly for a food related business so food hygiene courses are imperative to maintain standards.

A small investment of time and money for food hygiene training could save your business from legal action, fines or closure after an incident.

Staff may be aware of legislation but are they conversant about what this requires them to do and why? Personal hygiene plays an integral part in food hygiene issues and the subject must be addressed to satisfy the law. Food hygiene courses cover this and are effective.

  • Food Safety Act 1990
  • Regulation (EC) 852/2004 on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs.
  • The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006.
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Is there an HACCP based food safety management system in operation? Do staff know what HACCP is and why it is a vital, and EU/UK legislation meeting, system? HACCP courses will illuminate staff and management on how to assess risks, initiate controls and manage food hygiene efficiently.

  • Food should not be treated in a way that endangers the consumers.
  • Food must meet the quality standards as advertised.
  • It should be labelled correctly, including details of allergens. e.g. nuts or gluten.
  • Know where the food and ingredients came from. Traceability is vital.

Are your staff aware of Salmonella, Listeria, Norovirus and campylobacter risks?

  • Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It places a considerable strain on the NHS.
  • The Food Standards Agency found that 6.5% of 1051 fresh shop bought chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination, more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (cfu/g.) If chicken is not handled, prepared and cooked correctly food hygiene incidents follow.

The British Retail Consortium and the Food and Drink Federation’s guidance on labelling for packaged food safety still utilises best before and use by dates. Changes are expected but currently manufacturers choose from these three phrases:

  • May contain…
  • Made on equipment that also processes…
  • Made in a factory that also handles…

Do your team understand the terms fully?

Food Alert’s Food Allergens Awareness course complies with Food Labelling Regulation – EC1169/2011.

Food hygiene training overview:

  • Introduction to allergens.
  • Identify allergies and their causes.
  • What is a food allergy?
  • Symptoms of allergic reactions.
  • Foods that can cause allergic reactions.
  • Food labelling and the Food Information Regulations 2014.
  • Implementation of practical solutions to ensure compliance.
  • Identify cross contamination warnings.
  • Withdrawing affected food from sale.
  • Notifying customers of regulated allergens.
  • Actions – allergic reaction.

Training and HACCP food safety management systems maximise safety. After an incident is too late to realise the importance of food hygiene courses.

Contact a food hygiene training specialist today.

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