When working in an industry or workplace that requires you to handle or prepare food, especially when it's for other people, confidence of safety and hygiene standards are paramount.
The Food Standards Agency have set guidelines in place that organisations must understand and follow in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning and any other health issues as a result of poor food hygiene.
This is then given a score known as a ‘Food Hygiene Rating’ which indicates to authorities and the public the standard of food safety at your business.
What Is Food Safety?
In summary, food safety is the precautions and rules that you put in place to reduce the risk of sickness.
Food, like fires or machinery, is a potential workplace hazard so you have a responsibility to ensure that you are following all standards set out by the Food Standards Agency to reduce this risk.
Some examples of dangers in the food industry include:
- Allergies & intolerance – You need to be aware of potential food allergies and how to reduce the risk of harming someone with said allergies
- Cross-contamination – for example, when bacteria is transferred between raw meat and cooked foods which can result in severe food poisoning
- Salmonella – a result of cross-contamination or under-cooked meat
- Best before and use by dates – understanding the difference between the two and the potential dangers should someone consume out of date products
If you work in an industry or business that handles or prepares food, especially when it is for people outside of your organisation, then Food Safety should be a concern.
Examples of such businesses would be:
- A cafe or restaurant
- Catering company
What Does The Law Say About Food Safety and Hygiene?
The law on Food Safety is quite extensive so we advise that you take a look at the Food Standards Agency website for a thorough understanding.
The key regulations set out by the Food Safety Act 1990 state that:
- businesses do not include anything in food, remove anything from food or treat food in any way which means it would be damaging to the health of people eating it
- the food businesses serve or sell is of the nature, substance or quality which consumers would expect
- the food is labelled, advertised and presented in a way that is not false or misleading
There is also the General Food Law which covers the main European Commission and domestic legislation and the Food Standards Act 1999.
Need some professional support with Food Safety in the workplace?
We have fully qualified and experienced Food Safety Consultants that can:
- Carry out a comprehensive Food Safety Audit for your business
- Design a bespoke Food Management System that is easy to implement
- Provide extensive support should your business receive any food complaints or an EHO visit
- Provide 24/7 advice and support via our advice line or over email
Get in touch with Guardian Support today.
If you would like to learn more about how our Food Safety Consultants can help your business remain safe and compliant, then call us today on 0845 2626 260 for a free quote