It’s reasonable to say that no one intends to poison their customers when they serve them their food products but sometimes it happens. Some vendors don’t work within the rules and these need to be discovered prior to an incident.

That’s why every food related business in the UK has to endure food safety audits carried out by the Food Standards Agency with the assistance local authorities.

Additionally, The Food Information Regulations 2014 allow food safety auditors acting with the Food Standards Agency and local authorities to enforce consumer regulation 1169/2011 (FIC.) This checks that food labelling and information are adequate. Misinformation could prove fatal.

Food hygiene ratings

Every establishment receives unannounced visits and is measured against a fixed criteria set by the Food Standards Agency. They are attributed a rating, be it good or bad.

Obviously, you need and want a good, if not great, result from food inspectors. The scores are published online and a signed label must be prominently displayed on the premises.

What scores can be achieved?

         0 – Urgent improvement needed

         1 – Major improvement needed

         2 – Improvement needed

         3 – Generally satisfactory

         4 – Good

         5 – Very good

Improvement notices are a key tool in the Food Information Regulations. A firm’s failure to effect positive changes could result in legal action, financial penalties and convictions.

How can you help your business’ food safety success?

It’s vital to be proactive about food safety.

Here’s an easy question: Would you rather that the food safety auditor discovered a flawed procedure during an inspection or would you want to know now?

“Now” means investing a little revenue in staff and management training but this always costs less than the ramifications, financial and emotionally, of a soul destroying audit.

Having effective food hygiene training and procedures in place as every day regular practical tools means that no additional actions are required and no one needs to be “on their best behaviour” during an inspection. The best processes are already being employed.

Food safety training could raise your food hygiene rating from a 2 or 3 to a far more impressive 5.

Would you be happier eating at an establishment with a food hygiene rating of 4 or 2?

It would be a peculiar person who answered 2 so as a business owner or manager you need to contact a reputable food safety training firm like the London based Food Alert.

They offer courses for employees and further training at supervisor and management levels.

HACCP

Another avenue to pursue is HACCP training. Hazards Analysis Critical Control Points is an EU and UK legislative measure and it is vital for effective business in the food industry.

If you are in any doubt about what the regulations attached to food hygiene, food preparation, manufacture and HACCP as a food safety management system are then these courses will enhance your knowledge so that you can apply the principles in the work place.

Don’t wait until a food safety auditor has caught you out.