Listeria And Smoked Fish – What To Know

Listeria and smoked salmon

The centuries old method of smoking and curing fish has been common in coastal towns up and down the UK through the span of time, using tried and tested methods of preserving foods long before refrigerators appeared on the scenes.  The delicious oaky flavour of smoked products has not lost its appeal today and it is still considered a safe and effective way of preserving and flavouring food.

Since 2020, however, there have been some isolated reports of listeriosis in England and Scotland.  6 of these cases have occurred since January 2022, and the common link between those affected was that most had eaten smoked fish.

Listeriosis is a rare food borne illness caused by bacteria called listeria which is found in soil and water.  The most common symptoms are fever, aches, diarrhoea, and a headache and they usually appear within two weeks of eating the contaminated product.  For most individuals, the symptoms will pass within a week but it can present a serious risk for pregnant women, over-65s and those with weakened immune systems.

Smoked fish is not the only culprit when it comes to potential listeria threat, however, and there are other food items which could be hazardous.  It is most likely to be found in chilled, ready-to-eat foods located in the pre-prepared sections of any supermarket, but with such stringent hygiene procedures in the UK, the likelihood of contracting listeriosis from your meal-deal sandwich or salad is very low.  Items such as cooked or cured meats and shellfish, paté and unpasteurised products also fall within this category.  In the US this year, there has been an outbreak of listeria linked to soft cheeses, particularly brie and camembert, and products have been recalled.  Five of those affected were hospitalised and the authorities are continuing to investigate the spate of cases.

Back here in the UK, the Food Standards Agency closely monitors the listeria outbreak.  Tina Potter from the FSA advised members of the public who fall into the at-risk category to reduce risk by making sure chilled ready-to-eat smoked fish is stored at 5⁰C or below and eaten by its use-by date and the guidelines on the food label adhered to.  Thorough cooking will destroy listeria bacteria so it is advisable to cook smoked fish thoroughly until it is piping hot.

It should be noted that the cases of listeria linked to smoked fish in the UK are few and this kind of food borne illness is extremely rare.  There are family run industries up and down the country that have been producing fine smoked fish products for generations and they abide by strict hygiene laws to ensure their foods are safe as well as delicious, enriching the culinary experience of many every day.

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The Efficacy and Effectiveness of Facemasks

Due to the ambiguous and conflicting nature of the little information we do have on the effectiveness of wearing a form of mask in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many food businesses have reached out to us with questions over the use of PPE in the workplace as employees start looking to return to work. There is little information on the efficiency and efficacy of masks regarding their ability to filter out respiratory virus particles, such as coronavirus; yet over 30 countries have made masks a legal requirement outdoors for the public. So this naturally begs a question: Is there a significant benefit in using some form of face covering for warding off this virus?

Firstly, in order to decide on their effectiveness, let’s look at the different types of commonly used masks and their intended purposes.

  • Surgical Masks: A disposable, multilayer mask intended to act as a barrier to protect surgical personnel and general health-care workers, as well as patients from splashes of blood, body fluids and large droplets.


  • N95 Respiratory Masks: Manufactured mainly for industries that expose employees to dust and other small particles, although some are designed for use in health care. As the name might suggest, this mask is designed to block 95% of very small particles, making them more protective than a surgical mask.


  • Cloth Masks: Since medical masks are discouraged for public use so as to preserve the limited supply for medical professionals, many have come to make their own out of fabric. Said to be less effective due to their porosity and often found gaps between the nose, cheeks and jaw area.


  • Plastic Face Shields: Used by many workers usually not used alone, but along with other forms of PPE.


Although there have been no significantly large scale clinical trials, studies have been made on different types of masks but neither tell us that masks are useful or just a waste of time. A certain study carried out in South Korea1 took four patients infected with coronavirus asking them to cough into separate petri dishes five times while wearing a sequence of masks along with no mask, each time. The result was that neither surgical nor cotton masks effectively filtered out SARS-CoV-2. It is worth noting that they did find greater contamination on the outer layer as opposed to the inner surface of the mask which may be due to air leakage around the mask’s edge which may have led to the outer layer’s contamination. Another study taken at the University of Edinburgh2 on 7 different face coverings including medical and homemade masks, proved that the surgical and homemade masks tested did help reduce the distance in which the micro droplets spread forward but did generate far reaching jets of air leakage to the side, behind, above and below especially in heavy breathing and coughing. Only the masks that formed tight seals around the face were found to prevent the escape of particles.

To sum up, due to the fact that most masks, especially homemade masks, are so porous and coronavirus particles so small, that while they may protect against larger droplets from a cough or sneeze, they do not act as a physical barrier. If you were to magnify under a microscope, the pores on a mask are as effective as chicken wire is to prevent dust particles from entering.


  • Proper PPE can help protect others if you are infected.
  • Studies show that the combination of wearing a mask and hand washing is more effective than hand washing alone.
  • Surgical masks reduce the amount of seasonal coronavirus particles.
  • Fabric masks may catch larger particles droplets such as from a cough or sneeze.
  • Psychologically, it may provide a sense of security and peace of mind for some.



  • No solid evidence to prove that it is significantly beneficial to wear.
  • Masks are not likely to protect the wearer.
  • It can increase your own risk of exposure because of possible mishandling of a contaminated mask.
  • The most readily available masks, homemade masks, are a lot less effective.
  • They MUST fit well with very few gaps in order to work well.

In summary, mask wearing may just be an extra add-on precaution. For some, they may just be helpful so as to provide a feeling of safety and security. Regular and thorough hand washing, as well as social distancing are still predominantly the best and most effective way of staying safe. There is no point in wearing a mask or another form of PPE if you are neglecting these most vital procedures.  We cannot put our faith in face covering to get us back to normal. It is absolutely vital, more than ever, that proper and continuous hand hygiene is maintained during this time.


For help and advice on keeping you and your customers safe during this time, please contact us.



  1. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-1342
  2. https://www.ed.ac.uk/covid-19-response/latest-news/face-coverings-covid-19-transmission-risk






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Natasha’s Law – What it Means for Your Food Business

It is unlikely you won’t have heard about Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who tragically died from anaphylaxis after eating a Pret a Manger baguette. Unknown to her, the baguette contained sesame seeds, to which she was allergic, and she had a severe reaction which sadly killed her.

Before pointing the finger at Pret-a-manger, it should be made clear that they acted entirely within the law. Currently, any products made fresh in house do not have to contain specific allergen advice on the packaging as any consumer who might have any concerns can ask an employee in store for the relevant allergen information.

However, Michael Gove has brought forward legislation to tighten the current laws on packaged food items. All pre-packed items, including those made fresh in store, will have to carry a full list of ingredients in order to provide further protection for allergy sufferers. This would include ‘hidden ingredients’ such as bought in sauces or condiments used in the food. Businesses will have to ensure they are fully compliant with these changes by summer 2021, when the laws will come into full effect.

The legislation has been brought forward partly due to a successful campaign by Natasha’s parents. Losing a child is an unthinkable tragedy and nobody would blame them for lobbying for the law to be changed, however, is changing the law reasonable and is it realistic to implement?

Whilst transparency in business is always essential, the new laws will place a significant burden on food establishments. Businesses currently work under very stringent food hygiene laws and to impose a law which requires a 100% guarantee that there has been no allergenic cross-contamination of a product prior to sale is risky, especially to allergy sufferers themselves. There can never be an absolute guarantee due to the amount of ingredients that pass through a kitchen in any 24-hour period, however thorough the cleaning procedure is.

Once products are out on the shelf, there is also no control over who handles any given item. Hypothetically, somebody with peanut traces on their hands could handle several pre-packed food items, leaving enough peanut residue to cause a reaction from an individual with a severe peanut allergy who might subsequently pick it up. Though this is an extremely unlikely scenario, it is just one external factor over which there is no control.

Businesses should, of course, take their share of responsibility in giving the public as much information as is sensible and relevant but it is not unreasonable to expect that the onus should also be on the allergy sufferer (and those looking after them) to exercise due care in their decision making when purchasing any food items.

However, there is another angle from which this can be approached and one the FSA and Defra might consider investigating. According to Allergy UK, a Mintel report produced in 2010 found that ‘44% of British adults now suffer from at least one allergy and the number of sufferers is on the rise, growing by around 2 million between 2008 and 2009 alone.’ Not all these allergies will be food related but a very significant number will be. Therefore, it follows that it would be judicious to carry out an in-depth analysis for this exponential rise in food allergies. Such a study would help to expose root causes and could enable additional regulation to be applied at foundational level, thus proving to be a greater help to allergy sufferers and it could even be the means of preventing allergies developing in the first case.

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TACCP & VACCP Simply Explained

Applying HACCP to food manufacture

Recent years have seen a growth in popularity of a party game called ‘Chocolate Russian Roulette’ where you could be the unfortunate recipient of the one chocolate bullet in the pack that has enough hot chilli to set your mouth on fire.  Or there is the latest craze of the bizarrely flavoured jelly beans where you could be eating jelly beans tasting like dead fish or stinky socks.  Of course, this is all great fun when the items are safe to eat and, despite the deliberate tampering with what is usually a tasty sweet, it’s all a good joke.

It’s no joke however, when fun and safety is taken out of the equation and food is deliberately tampered with and potentially contaminated for malicious reasons or financial gain.  TACCP (Threat Assessment and Critical Control Points) and VACCP (Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points) are acronyms that are becoming increasingly important in the food industry.

Both TACCP and VACCP are concerned with intentional tampering and potential adulteration of food but with TACCP, threats are considered behaviourally or ideologically motivated and so the emphasis is on food defence and with VACCP, it is considered economically motivated and the focus is therefore food fraud.

As a rule, we can be confident our food is safe but there are some horror stories about behaviourally motivated adulteration of food.  An employee at a store in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was found guilty of mixing insecticide into minced beef because he had a grudge against his supervisor and wanted to get him/her into trouble.  There were over 40 people who suffered ill effects as a result and 1700 pounds of minced beef had to be recalled.  The employee himself suffered nine years in prison and a $12,000 fine.  Aside from individual vendettas, other threats on the increase include terrorism, espionage and even cybercrime.

Similarly, there are just as many stories about economically motivated food tampering.  It was only in 2013 when the horsemeat scandal hit the headlines.  Burgers being sold in Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland were found to contain quite high levels of horsemeat and, in some cases, pork and other meats too.  The suppliers were committing food fraud by substituting beef with cheaper meat for economic gain.  Aside from substitution, other vulnerabilities include practices such as dilution, unapproved enhancements and mislabelling.

If you are a food manufacturer or producer, it is imperative that you have in place procedures which will identify potential threats and vulnerabilities and specify methods to counteract them.

The Food Standards Agency suggests four critical questions to ask when considering how to protect and defend food from deliberate and malicious attack:

  1. a) Who might want to attack us?
  2. b) How might they do it?
  3. c) Where are we vulnerable?
  4. d) How can we stop them?

PAS 96:2017 is the Publicly Available Specification which gives comprehensive guidance on TACCP mitigation measures and can be found on the FSA website.

With VACCP, there are any number of factors to consider when protecting your business from food fraud, including things such as how easily accessible materials are, location of business and access to it, country of origin of goods and supply chain to mention a few.  A free tool from SSAFE which was developed with PwC is available to food businesses and will help you assess how robust your company’s current strategy is for prevention of, and protection against, food fraud.


Although these threats and vulnerabilities are small at present, it would be wise to assess whether your current policies and procedures are resilient enough to foil any potential attacks on your business.  CaterSafe can assist you in developing TACCP and VACCP mitigation measures so get in touch and we can help!

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Food Hygiene Consultant Kent

Food Hygiene Consultant Kent

Whether you are starting a new food business or have been running one for many years; it is always essential to refresh yourself with the latest food hygiene knowledge. One of the best ways to make sure your business in Kent is following best practice approaches to food safety is by employing a food hygiene consultant Kent. At CaterSafe, we offer food hygiene consultant Kent for training, strategies and audits.

One of the ways a food hygiene consultant can help you is by developing a food hygiene plan. Here are some of the tops tips from a food hygiene consultant Kent on how to prepare your business for food safety.

Top Tips From A Food Hygiene Consultant Kent

  1. Get to know your hazards

Every food business will have their unique hazards. It is essential to get to know all of the hazards in your organisation and how to control them. For this, training in HACCP is critical, so you know what to look out for. Secondly, it is useful to have a fresh pair of eyes to overlook your production line and processes just in case there is a hazard you have missed.

  1. Don’t stress

Food safety is important, but it shouldn’t be something to fear. Outshine your competitors by putting a focus on food hygiene and make it fun for your team. After all, audits and inspections are to help your business. These checks can help to improve your standards which strengthen your organisation.

  1. It’s a team effort

Food safety isn’t just a responsibility for you or your food hygiene consultant Kent. It should be a role for your whole team. Ensure everyone receives food hygiene training and make sure it becomes a key component of everything you do, not just a burden when it is time for an inspection.

Looking for a food hygiene consultant Kent?

If you are looking for support for your food business, CaterSafe Consultants can help. Our team can provide training, inspections and food hygiene plans to help your business succeed. Find out more with a free consultation. Call or email the team to arrange your appointment.

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HACCP Consulting Kent

HACCP Consulting Kent

With HACCP being a critical part of your food safety plan, it is essential to ensure you have the right help at hand. When it comes to HACCP, it can be an excellent idea to employ third-party HACCP consulting Kent. So how can you find the right HACCP consultancy that your food business needs?

Step One: Create A Plan For Your Business

When it comes to your knowledge, time and business style, they will each play a part on what type of HACCP consultant you need. For HACCP Consulting Kent, experts can be as involved as you want them to. They can offer a range of services such as;

  • Devising and documenting a HACCP plan
  • Verify an existing plan
  • Provide training and management of a food safety system
  • Assess your plan
  • Devise an implementation strategy.

Before reaching out to HACCP consultants, it is worthwhile considering what you are looking for. For example, do you want infrequent assistance or a fully managed service?

Step Two: Choosing HACCP Consulting Kent

Once you know what you want, you can then start the search for the right consultancy for you. For businesses in Kent, it is wise to choose HACCP consulting Kent, so they have easy access to your premises. If you select a consultant that is based further afield, then you may incur additional travel fees.

Secondly, you’ll want a consultant that you can gel with. It should be easy to converse with them, and both sides should be able to listen to each other. Ask about the type of support they offer and how they can help your business. Reputable HACCP consultants should be able to show you case studies and previous work they have done.

Finally, do make sure to check their qualifications.

Step Three: Get HACCP Sorted

Once you have found the perfect HACCP consulting Kent business for you, you can start to improve your food safety and stay compliant.

If you are looking for HACCP consultants in Kent, get in touch with CaterSafe Consultants who can help your business with all accepts of HACCP and food safety.

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HACCP training courses in UK

Find out about HACCP training courses

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a popular, methodical and effective way to manage food safety. In 2006, a new regulation was passed that all food and beverage businesses must have a food safety management system in place. Furthermore, the system must base itself on HACCP principles. As well as this, food businesses must keep up to date records of its operations.

CaterSafe Consultants can help to bring your business up to speed with HACCP through a range of HACCP training courses delivered in-house or externally. We also offer a comprehensive Introduction To HACCP Level Two online e-learning course. This course is ideal for food businesses as it allows delegates to complete the course at a convenient time without lowering productivity or impacting production.


What is HACCP?

HACCP was originally a food safety system developed by NASA. NASA pioneered

HACCP training courses

 the system for increased food safety during the space race. Since then, it has evolved, and many businesses in the food and beverage industry utilise its principles. In 2006, The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006, as well as the equivalent regulations in the rest of the UK, simplified the legislation to align with HACCP principles.

HACCP principles have certainly made it easier for businesses to implement a food safety management system. However, it is vital that companies within the food industry can prove due diligence and conformance to HACCP. Complying with a HACCP strategy can lower the risk of a serious incident and can help you legally if something goes wrong.

During visits and inspections, the Environmental Health Officer is likely to ask to see your HACCP plan incorporated in your food safety management system. If you fail to comply, then you may face a fine. As well as this, you may face the prospect of closure either temporarily or permanently. With this in mind, HACCP and HACCP training courses are critical to your business success and profitability.


How can HACCP Training courses help?

HACCP is essential to your food safety management system. As a result, it is vital that your team has full knowledge of HACCP and how to implement it successfully in your organisation. HACCP training courses will begin by introducing the key terminology and aspects of HACCP.

With foundations in place, training can then focus on how to identify hazards. This then leads to understanding the appropriate critical control points you need in place. Hazard analysis and critical control identification can then ensure full compliance and a high standard of food safety.

CaterSafe Consultants recommend the Introduction To HACCP Level Two course to all teams who interact with food during their work. This comprehensive e-learning course allows people to learn at their own pace and at a convenient time. Furthermore, it makes it easy to train new employees as soon as they begin work. This takes away the stress and difficulty of organising regular training sessions.

Want to find out more about HACCP Training?

For more details, please call 01233 822 201 or contact a member of our consultancy team for more information.

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10 Key Steps To Starting A Food Business

Staff Food Safety Hygiene Certificates

10 Key Steps To Starting A Food Business


Food is an essential and enjoyable part of everyday life. Starting a food business, or becoming a ‘foodpreneur’ can be incredibly rewarding. However, it also takes a lot of hard work, time, dedication and commitment, as well as having several winning recipes or products up your sleeve. If you’re ready for the challenge, here is the CaterSafe Consultants 10 step guide for how to start a food business.


10 Key Steps:


  1. Be unique

There are many different food businesses out there. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to come up with a brand-new concept or a concept which already works, but with your own USP (unique Selling Point).  Conducting market research is essential to find out what is already out there, what is successful and how you can make your concept compete and stand out in a highly competitive industry. That said, remember not to be too ‘out there’.


  1. Get practicing

If you want paying customers to buy your products over and over again, then  your products need to be of a consistently high standard. Perfect your recipes as much as possible. Conduct taste tests with family, friends and local markets and welcome both positive and negative feedback, in order to help you improve your product.


  1. Create your business plan

Ensure investors and stakeholders take your proposal seriously and make sure your idea is viable with a solid business plan. Follow expert tips to ensure your business plan is professional and detailed.


  1. Contact authorities

Contact your local Trading Standards Officer for labeling and legal advice. You will also need to contact your local council and their environmental health department. Their advice can help to make sure you have a safe and effective kitchen to comply with hygiene requirements.


  1. Register your business

You must register your business at least 28 days before trading. Registration is free with your local authority. Depending on your food business, you may need approval. Once you are registered, an officer may inspect your business. As well as registering with your local council, you also need to register your business or sole trader account with Companies House.


  1. Get food hygiene savvy

Food safety is crucial to your new business as well as being a legal requirement. Food safety training can help you and your team to get up to date with the latest food laws and regulations to ensure you remain compliant.


  1. Gather capital

From loans to crowdfunding, to start a food business, you will need an initial investment to buy supplies, stock and potentially premises. You’ll need starting capital to cover staff costs, insurance and ensure your business is ready to go. That said however, many food businesses fail early on because they are under capitalised, over-spend on non-essentials or get into too much debt.


  1. Start marketing

Make sure your customers know where to find you with marketing. This could include advertising on social media, building a website and sending flyers out. Marketing can be expensive, so it is essential to set aside a budget for this purpose.


  1. Shine with customer service

To keep your customers returning again and again, your business needs to stand out from your competitors. Many food businesses claim to offer exceptional customer service, – but in reality, very few do!

Get the basics right, and everything else will follow. A great product at a sensible price with exceptional customer service is the recipe for success in any food business.


  1. Stay positive

As long as you enjoy running your food business, the enthusiasm will show. To build a successful business takes time! Concentrate on the fundamentals; your product, price and service. Remember that it takes time to build up momentum and for the word to get out, so be patient and don’t give up. Stay positive and persevere.


Questions about 10 Key Steps To Start A Food Business

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the 10 Key Steps To Start A Food Business – contact CaterSafe Consultants on 01233 822 201 or go to our contact page.

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Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Mystery Diner

About the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Find out about the UK’s Food Hygiene Rating Scheme that was filmed at Bluewater in Kent.

The scheme aims to help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, cafés, takeaways, hotels and food shops.

Ratings are given to places where members of the public can eat out, such as restaurants, takeaways, cafés, sandwich shops, pubs, and hotels. Ratings are also given to other places the public eat at, when away from home, such as schools, hospitals and residential care homes.

Places where the public shop for food, such as supermarkets, bakeries, and delicatessens are also given a rating. The overarching aim of the scheme is to encourage businesses to improve hygiene standards, thus reducing the incidence of food-borne illness.


How CaterSafe Consultants Can Help

CaterSafe can provide a professional analysis of your business’ food storage, preparation and production areas, food safety procedures and documentation. This is followed up with a written report containing implementation recommendations, to prove you have shown ‘due diligence’ when inspected by your local Environmental Health Practitioner.

An audit from us will help your business to achieve, or work towards, the ‘very good’ hygiene standard rating operated by the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.The hygiene rating scheme, enables your customers to see how closely your business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.

CaterSafe consultants provide a professional analysis of your business’ food storage, preparation and production areas, food hygiene procedures and management systems and your documentation.

This is followed up with a written report containing implementation recommendations, to prove you have shown ‘due diligence’ when inspected by your local Environmental Health Practitioner / Officer.

An independent external audit will help boost your ‘confidence in management’ rating on The National Food Hygiene Rating scheme (NFHRS), enabling your business to achieve the maximum NFHRS rating.

Contact CaterSafe Consultants

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – Contact CaterSafe Consultants today on 01233 822 201

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Food Safety Kent

Food Safety Kent

For anyone starting a new food business, there is a lot to consider. From financing to finding the perfect location, choosing the ideal menu, providers and creating your brand. With so much to get underway, it is essential to keep in mind the basic requirements of the business: food safety. At CaterSafe Consultants, we can support your new venture. We can help you with all aspects of food safety Kent, such as food safety training and consultancy.

CaterSafe Consultants cover all aspects of food safety Kent and in the surrounding areas too. Whatever support your new food business needs, we are here to help you with our bespoke and buy online courses.

Food Safety Kent – What your business needs to consider

  1. Registration

To set up a new food business, you need to register your food premises with the local council. Different councils may vary their terms, but typically you will need to register your premises at least 28 days before you intend to open.

  1. Get to grips with the law

It is essential that you and your team learn the basic hygiene requirements and the regulations that relate to your business. The Food Hygiene Regulations is where you need to start your reading so that you can adopt food safety Kent. Training courses are an excellent way to understand the requirements of the law. Food safety Kent training can also provide you with practical steps to implement good food hygiene practices in your business.

  1. HACCP

Food safety management is essential for new business. One of the best ways to evidence your commitment to managing food safety is through HACCP. HACCP stands for hazard analysis and critical control point. CaterSafe Consultants offer a range HACCP courses to cover a range of different food safety businesses

How CaterSafe Consultants can help

CaterSafe Consultants offer food safety training and consultancy in Kent and beyond. If you are starting a new food venture, speak to our team for free, friendly advice for the best training to suit your needs. Get in touch for your free consultation.



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Food Hygiene Courses In Kent

Food Hygiene Courses In Kent

With food hygiene being a critical aspect of any food handling business, training is vital to comply with legislation. At CaterSafe Consultants, we offer food hygiene courses in Kent, so that food handling teams operate safely and hygienically. To suit all businesses, we provide a range of different food hygiene courses at a variety of levels.

Who can benefit from food hygiene courses in Kent?

Maintaining food hygiene is vital to comply with legislation in the UK. In fact, anyone that handles food must have appropriate training for food hygiene. With this in mind, all food business operators need to make sure they ensure training for their employees either from previous experience or offering training.

Training is not only useful for frontline staff, but is also vital for supervisors, and senior staff such as management, head chefs and trainers. All of which are responsible for sharing their knowledge and make sure food hygiene principles from training as always applied.

Why should your business undertake food hygiene courses in Kent?

While the appropriate training is essential to comply with legislation, there are many benefits to providing your workforce with food hygiene training.

  1. Career advancement

Identifying key workers in your team to undertake higher levels of food hygiene courses will help you to promote supervisors within your team. It will also provide your organisation with further skills and knowledge that could improve production in your organisation. Furthermore, offering regular training to your team will help with your staff retention levels too.

  1. Appreciation

For many staff, cleaning and due diligence are the most arduous parts of the job, which means they are not always kept to high standards. Training your team about the principles of food hygiene and why it is so important brings a level of appreciation. Knowing their jobs could be at stake and that they are directly responsible can make sure that staff undertake their duties conscientiously and with pride.

  1. Efficiency

After training, food-handling principles become second nature, making processes much more efficient which can help with productivity. By following stringent measures learnt in training, the staff influence each other. Ultimately, this can help to bring a complete behavioural change to the organisation, in a positive way.

CaterSafe Consultants for food hygiene courses in Kent

CaterSafe Consultants offer a range of food hygiene courses tailored to suit different industries and business needs. For food hygiene training for your business, get in touch with our team for free, friendly advice.

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HACCP Training in Kent

HACCP Training in Kent

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, also known as HACCP, is an essential aspect of any successful food business. HACCP is a system that you can implement in your food handling business that helps to control aspects of food safety to minimise the risk. However, to deploy HACCP in your organisation effectively, training is essential. This is why CaterSafe Consultants offer HACCP Training in Kent.

Why choose HACCP Training in Kent?

HACCP can be used in any food business. It is designed to help you to score highly on food hygiene audits as well as controlling potential hazards in your food production. As well as being one of the most rigorous food safety mechanisms, HACCP is also cost-effective.

HACCP works as a preventative mechanism, helping to ensure quality throughout your business. It can help you reduce the risk of food hygiene issues and control hazards before they become severe problems.

There are many benefits of adopting HACCP including;

  • Increasing levels of food safety standards
  • Improving food quality
  • Organises your production more effectively
  • Promotes teamwork
  • Provides defence and evidence of due diligence
  • Can save your business money
  • Ensures compliance with food hygiene legislation
  • Keeps your customers safe.

CaterSafe Consultants HACCP Training in Kent

At CaterSafe Consultants we focus on our HACCP training for food manufacturing. We offer a Level 2, 3 and 4 Award for HACCP For Manufacturing. We can provide training at your place of work for convenience. With the training, individuals will learn all of the principles of HACCP and be able to manage food safety.

Level Two – This course takes one day and covers all of the duties of HACCP to make an efficient and effective operation of your food manufacturing business.

Level Three – This course will provide a regulated qualification that complies with the industry standard. With five days of training, the participants can work towards achieving a qualification that is recognised by environmental health practitioners.

Level Four – The ideal course for management of food manufacturing business. This course allows the learner to think critically about HACCP in their organisation for continuous improvement. This course also takes five days.

Why HACCP course is right for you?

If you are not sure which HACCP course is right for you and your organisation, get in touch with CaterSafe Consultants for your free consultation. Call the training team now on 01233 822 201.

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Food Safety Consultant

Staff Food Safety Hygiene Certificates

Looking for a Food Safety Consultant?

CaterSafe is based in Ashford, Kent and was conceived by Samuel Turner, who began his career as an apprentice chef. After working for many years in the catering and hospitality industry, he went on to become a catering college lecturer, Food Safety trainer and HACCP food safety certification specialist. Sam now heads up CaterSafe as Principal Consultant.

CaterSafe Consultants are a well respected Food Safety consultancy and leading provider of Food Safety, HACCP and other compliance based training. CaterSafe work predominately in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and the London area but are willing to travel further afield, and have clients throughout the UK and parts of Europe.

Food Safety training and HACCP systems.

CaterSafe specialise in delivering Food Safety training and HACCP systems for a variety of businesses in a variety of sectors which include: hotels, hospitals, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, butchers, abattoirs, food distributers and a variety of food manufacturers.

In our experience, many, if not most, food safety consultants have a solely scientific, rather than a food management background. Consequently they cannot genuinely empathise with the day-to-day pressures associated with running a demanding business, whilst practically implementing food safety legislation.

CaterSafe is different, having been built on the firm foundation of experience within the food industry and sound science. Each of our fully qualified consultants has many years of experience managing busy food operations, whilst maintaining high standards of food safety control, so we understand the obstacles you face! At CaterSafe we work in partnership with you, taking the time to understand the unique features of your business, in order to develop a food safety management system that can be practically and consistently implemented on a day to day basis.

Contact Catersafe Consultants

Based in Ashford, Kent, we can provide training courses to business in Kent and across the UK. We offer courses in your business as well as handy e-learning online training, for your staff to take at their leisure. Get in touch to discuss your training requirements with our team and find the perfect course by calling 01233 822 201.

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Food Safety Courses in Kent

Food safety in manufacturing courses in Kent

When it comes to any organisation in the food industry in the UK, there are essential requirements to follow. Food safety is of the utmost importance. By following food safety standards, you comply with legislation, showcase your business as trustworthy and run a safe organisation. A critical aspect of food safety is in training. At CaterSafe Consultants, we provide food safety courses in Kent.

Why choose food safety courses in Kent?

CaterSafe Consultants run a variety of food safety courses in Kent to support local food businesses. We provide food safety courses in Kent for those involved in the manufacturing, handling and logistics of food. By helping a wealth of different food businesses, we can tailor our training to suit your requirements. We make sure all of our training material is specific to various food businesses so that it is as engaging and thought-provoking as possible.

By law, there are specific training requirements for food businesses. For example, any staff members that handle food must have instruction, training and supervision in relation to food hygiene. Furthermore, these members of staff need to have the relevant training for the job and tasks they will undertake.

While the law does not require a specific training course, many businesses want a course that is certified by professional bodies. At CaterSafe Consultants, our food safety courses in Kent are run by professional trainers and are accredited. We can deliver the training on-site or off-site for your needs. Furthermore, our courses are high-quality with a focus on regulatory compliance.

CaterSafe food safety courses in Kent

From induction training for new recruits or new food businesses to formal level three and four training. We have a range of food safety courses to suit your business needs. To reduce the disruption to your business, our trainers can come to our premises. Furthermore, we can conduct training around your service times for complete convenience. To book your training call 01233 822 201 and speak to our training team.


HACCP Courses

HACCP Courses

One of the fundamental ways that businesses within the food industry manage food safety and hygiene is through HACCP. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. It is a system that follows certain principles in managing food safety hazards. In order to use HACCP effectively, training is often required through HACCP courses. At Catersafe Consultants we provide online training and HACCP course to help you manage food safety.

What is HACCP?

With all the processes in place to run your food business, it is essential to take a detailed look at each step to identify if there are any risks for food hygiene and food safety. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point allow you to examine all the steps in each process closely. You can then identify any potential aspects which could go wrong and impact food safety.

Once you have an overview of processes, you can begin to identify critical control points. These are the exact points which your organisation needs to prioritise for the sake of food safety. Within these critical control points, you can then work towards removing and limiting any risks to help make your processes as safe as possible.

By following HACCP, you should be recording your plan and findings to see whether your procedures are working. HACCP records provide invaluable evidence for audits and inspections. Your documents can show that your business prioritises food safety.

HACCP Courses

At Catersafe Consultants our introduction the HACCP Level Two course is online training you can do anywhere. The 80-minute course will go through the vital terminology that you need to know. It will then help you to identify and analyse hazards. Furthermore, it will help you to understand where your critical control points lie.

Improve food safety with HACCP courses

Keep your business compliant and as safe as possible with our HACCP training. Sign up for the course here or call the team on 01233 822 201 if you have any questions.



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Food Allergy Awareness Week 13th-19th May 2018

Food allergy awareness week

Did you know that someone in the world is admitted to hospital every three seconds because of a food allergy reaction?  Furthermore, 20% of the UK population suffer effects by at least one allergy. Alarmingly, 44% of British adults suffer from an allergy and is continuing to rise.  Food Allergy Awareness Week begins on the 13th May 2018 to highlight the dangers of food allergies.

Food Allergy Awareness Week is here to help raise awareness of the difficulties that food allergy sufferers face and helps to educate individuals on what to do should an allergic reaction take place. Of course, the primary goal of Food Allergy Awareness week is to highlight the issue and reduce the number of problems and accidents from food allergies. For more people to have an awareness, it increases the amount of support allergy sufferers have. It also helps to prevent food allergy accidents from occurring.

Why Food Allergy Awareness Week is important to the food industry

When food products are contaminated or incorrectly label their ingredients, it can be fatal for food allergy sufferers. For the business, there are 14 allergens which legislation controls. By law, food industries need to highlight and include any allergens on the list of ingredients. Food companies must clearly indicate the allergens. Many companies will choose to highlight allergens in bold for the ease of the customers.

If allergens do not have a label, then liability can arise. Companies may suffer as a law of negligence or under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Food allergy awareness training with Catersafe Consultants

Catersafe Consultants offer an insightful food allergen awareness online training. The course covers the 14 allergens that legislation controls. The training also explains the symptoms of food allergies and what can trigger them. This is an ideal course for those in the catering industry. Furthermore, Food Allergy Awareness Week is a perfect time to make sure your team stay compliant and increase their awareness. Sign up for the course here or discuss your training requirements by calling 01233 822 201.

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Food Hygiene Courses Kent

Food Safety Courses

If your business is in the food sector, then your employees will need food safety training. If you make, handle, prepare or sell food, then your staff need training. Without sufficient training, supervision or instruction, you may face a scathing review from your local Environmental Health Officer. At CaterSafe, we know how important it is for businesses to have excellent health, hygiene and safety standards. With this in mind, CaterSafe provides a range of food hygiene courses Kent.

The benefits of food hygiene courses Kent

At CaterSafe, we offer training for food businesses in Kent as well as across the UK. We provide both onsite and offsite training as well as e-learning courses for complete food safety coverage for all team members and food situations. There are many benefits to having sufficient food hygiene training which includes;


Training can help staff to understand the necessary legislation which can help to improve your compliance. This can help to increase your rating by inspections too.

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Customers will look out for good and bad food hygiene practices. If customers are not happy that your business operates safely and cleanly, then it can damage your reputation. Regular training and refresher training can help to reiterate the importance of good food hygiene practice and make sure customers are happy that you prioritise their safety.

Reduce food wastage

Following the right food hygiene principles can help staff to be more aware of food storage and handling. Our training courses will also highlight pest control. All of which can help your business to minimise wastage which can save your business money.

Improve profits with food hygiene courses Kent

CaterSafe offers a range of food hygiene courses Kent and across the UK. Our courses can help to improve efficiency, provide practical tips and assure best practice approaches. All of which can reduce operational costs, improve your reputation and increase profits. Book your food hygiene course with our expert trainers by calling 01233 822 201.

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Food Safety Training Ashford, Kent

Food Safety Training Ashford, Kent

For any worker that handles food, Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 applies. This is a legal requirement to make sure that food handlers have training or supervision when relating to food hygiene matters. To lower the risk of potential food hygiene hazards occurring, training is essential. At CaterSafe, we offer food safety training Ashford, Kent as well as across the county.

What food safety training does my business need?

The Food Regulations 2006 recommend training for food businesses. However, there is no requirement for specific training or a particular course. This means that your business can tailor the courses that you need to suit all members of your team.

Firstly, your food preparation team are likely to require in-depth knowledge to make sure that food is safe for consumption. A course that covers personal and premises hygiene is vital. Further understanding of pest control, food contamination and allergens are also helpful. These can help to reduce the risk of foodborne illness and allergic reactions.

For those who work in the front of house sector, who sell food but do not prepare any, we offer a food safety for retail. This course includes the practical measures that staff can implement in their daily work. All of which can help to minimise the severity of potential hazards. This course covers aspects such as waste management and how to safely hand food.

Food manufacturers also need adequate food safety training. CaterSafe offers a Level One Award in Food Safety for Manufacturing. This food safety training Ashford, Kent is delivered onsite or offsite to suit your needs. The course is suitable for those in low and high-risk food production.

Book your food safety training Ashford, Kent

Based in Ashford, Kent, we can provide training courses to business in Kent and across the UK. We offer courses in your business as well as handy e-learning online training, for your staff to take at their leisure. Get in touch to discuss your training requirements with our team and find the perfect course by calling 01233 822201.

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Reducing the Risk of Acrylamide – What it Means for your Food Business

Not only has April 2018 brought us the implementation of the sugar tax, but it also brings us new legislation on managing acrylamide and, if you’re a food business operator (FBO), it’s something that you need to know about.

Acrylamide is a chemical which forms naturally in starchy foods when cooked at high temperatures (anything over 120˚C).  The sugars in the food items react with naturally occurring amino acids to form acrylamide.  This reaction takes place in potatoes in various forms, e.g roast, chips, crisps etc., bread, some cereal products and also coffee roasting.

Studies carried out in rodents found that exposure to the chemical increased the risk of developing different types of cancer quite significantly.  Although humans and animals react differently to certain chemicals, it is nevertheless the view of scientists that acrylamide could be a potential carcinogen.

It is therefore considered a food safety hazard and the EU has produced new guidelines which set out mitigation measures and benchmark levels to which FBOs are expected to adhere.  While it is impossible to eliminate acrylamide completely, it is possible to reduce levels of it in affected foods by following the mitigation measures provided, thereby reducing potential carcinogen risk to consumers.  Measures should be followed as far as is practicably possible without compromising current hygiene laws.

The legislation lists the following food items to which mitigation measures and benchmark levels should be applied:

  1. French fries, other cut (deep fried) products and sliced potato crisps from fresh potatoes
  2. potato crisps, snacks, crackers and other potato products from potato dough
  3. bread
  4. breakfast cereals (excluding porridge)
  5. fine bakery wares: cookies, biscuits, rusks, cereal bars, scones, cornets, wafers, crumpets and gingerbread, as well as crackers, crisp breads and bread substitutes
  6. coffee
  7. coffee substitutes
  8. baby food and, processed cereal-based food intended for infants and young children


Mitigation measures and benchmark levels

The legislation recommends using potatoes which have a naturally lower sugar content.  This will reduce the amount of acrylamide that is produced during the cooking process.  It also stipulates that potatoes should be stored above 6˚C; sugars multiply in potatoes stored in fridges/cold places, thus increasing the level of acrylamide in the end product. Before frying potatoes, they should be rinsed and left to soak in cold water for up to 2 hours and then rinsed again.  Blanching potatoes is also very effective in reducing acrylamide and it is recommended wherever possible and practicable.

Frying temperatures should be kept below 175˚C and lower if possible.  Suppliers should be consulted as to the most suitable oil to use.  Food debris such as crumbs should be skimmed off the fats and oils regularly to keep it free from potential contaminants. Last year, there was a campaign by the FSA to ‘go for gold’, referring to the optimum colour to which your bread should be toasted and your potatoes roasted or fried.  The legislation suggests using appropriate colour charts where available, although the benchmark is to aim for a light, golden colour.

With bread and cereal products, it is recommended that any yeast fermentation time is extended as far as is practicable, that the moisture content of dough be reduced as much as possible and, where viable, lower the oven temperature and extend the cooking time.

With coffee roasting and baby food, it is important to choose ingredients with the lowest potential for acrylamide and identify optimum cooking/roasting temperatures to ensure minimal acrylamide formation. If you are using pre-packed or frozen goods to cook and serve to consumers, cooking guidelines should be followed closely.


As with any other legislation, it is important to demonstrate compliance. The chemical hazard of acrylamide and control measures thereof, should be identified and documented within the food businesses Food Safety Management System. Food manufacturers particularly will be expected to have robust procedures in place for sampling and analysis of products indicating that they are seeking to reduce levels of acrylamide in what is being provided to the end customers/consumers.  They will also be expected to keep detailed records of the results.  Once systems are in place, this should be relatively straightforward to maintain.

For more information

We can help.  Contact us if you would like further information or training for you or your staff.  You can find the legislation in full here and some helpful guidelines here.

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Food Safety Courses Kent

food safety courses Kent

If your organisation is in the food industry, then there are many requirements you have to follow. Food hygiene is critical, and all food businesses have a responsibility to make sure that food is safe for consumption. Your Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plan (HACCP) will highlight your responsibilities for food safety. One area in the HACCP plan may be adequate training. At CaterSafe, we offer a range of food safety courses Kent to keep your food business safe and compliant.

Our food safety courses Kent

One of the easiest ways for employee learning is through e-learning. E-learning can be accessed anywhere at any time for complete convenience. CaterSafe offer a variety of detailed e-learning courses such as;

Level 1 Food Safety – This is the ideal induction course for new employees entering your food business. It covers the basic principles of hygiene, risks and hazards in a food setting. For those with no prior knowledge, this course is essential.

Food Allergen Awareness – In the UK, legislation controls 14 major allergens. This course is essential for a greater understanding of food ingredients, allergies and intolerances. As well as the detailed theory, the course also covers practical steps that your business can adopt today.

Level 2 Food Safety in Retail –  Food safety is not just essential in manufacturing and catering environments. There are many potential food hazards where food is sold, whether in shops, restaurants, hospitals or school. Consequently, this detailed course ensures thorough knowledge of the potential dangers in a retail setting.

Discover food safety courses Kent

As well as offering e-learning courses, CaterSafe also provides on and off-site courses with professional trainers. We can, therefore, tailor courses to fit your precise food safety needs. Our courses cover food safety in a variety of settings including, catering, logistics and retail. To find out which course is best for your needs, contact the CaterSafe training team on 01233 822 201.