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Is Food Safety an Optional Extra for food Businesses?

If you are a business owner or manager in the food industry, what would be top of your list for ensuring success and setting you apart from the rest?  The best menu, the best food or products, the newest techniques, the best décor, the best staff, the best location? Perhaps a combination of all of them or perhaps you really do lead the field in one or two and you’re a pioneering force within the industry.  But what about food safety?  Where does that feature in your list of priorities?

Food Business Operators have a legal, moral and commercial obligation to ensure the food they are producing is safe, and will not cause harm, injury or illness. With regulations and laws increasing and becoming ever tighter, good food safety procedures and training are imperative to the success of any business.  Whatever your field, inspections by your local authority are mandatory and your food safety processes will be subject to close scrutiny.

Most businesses providing food to the public will come under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme whereby, based on the results of an inspection, you are given a hygiene rating of 0 to 5, with 5 being the highest and 0 being the lowest.  Although you might choose not to display the certificate in your window if you get a lower rating, all results are available on the Food Standards Agency website, so there is nowhere to hide.

Inspectors seek to ensure that you are creating food and food products that are safe to eat.  It won’t just be the end goods they’re looking at but the whole chain of events from its inception to the final product and all the equipment, processes, procedures, methods and systems in between.

Inspectors will also look at your advertising and product descriptions.  Are you labelling your food, your menus and products accurately or are you being deliberately ambiguous and hoodwinking customers?  Alternatively, you could be unaware that you are misleading customers and need guidance.

If you fall short in any area, inspectors will not be forgiving and enforcement officers have the power to take a number of different actions, depending on the severity of the problem.  A best case scenario would be a ‘hygiene improvement notice’ where you would have to ensure you changed certain procedures in order to meet with government standards and law.  A worst case scenario would be for them to recommend prosecution which could lead to a fine, being banned from the food industry or even imprisonment.

With such rigorous regulations, excellent food safety practices need to be in place and all staff should be trained, either to a basic or more advanced level, depending on their level of responsibility and involvement in the production process.  You can choose to improve your business by updating your décor, changing the tablecloths, updating your menu or hiring more staff but these are choices that you have the luxury of making or not making.  Food safety is not an optional extra like any of these might be, rather, it is an absolute essential to the success and safety of your business.

Remember however, that as important as compliance is, it is not an end in itself, but rather a means to an end. (Otherwise it can end-up as a mere ‘box ticking’ exercise which in the end is counter-productive). Ultimately, the most important reason Food Business Operators must take food safety seriously, is for the safety and wellbeing of their customers. That should always be the starting point. This involves:

– Protecting food from all types of contamination

– Preventing harmful bacteria from multiplying in food

– Destroying any harmful bacteria through correct processing and thorough cooking

– Disposing of any contaminated, unfit and/or suspect food.

Finally, and very importantly, managers, supervisors and team leaders can massively help implement standards and maintain a good food safety culture if they lead by example and put into practice what they preach. Hypocrisy is a big turn-off. A manager who takes a ‘maverick approach’ to food safety, or is sloppy, will often find that their staff are too – and in reality, to a greater degree.

Here are just some of the many benefits in taking food safety seriously and promoting a good food safety culture

– Reduced risk of food poisoning

– Satisfied customers

– Good reputation

– Peace of mind

– Hygienic working conditions, which leads to increased staff morale

– Legal compliance.

On the other hand, here are some of the costs of poor food safety practices

– Food poisoning and/or food safety incidents

– Increased complaints

– Poor reputation

– Less profitability

– Low staff morale

– Legal action / fines

– Imprisonment

– Closure of the business.

 

Catersafe Consultants have a wide range of training available from eLearning to a trainer coming to your premises to train you and your staff.  We pride ourselves on thorough and comprehensive training, equipping you to put in place procedures which will ensure the highest standards; standards which are crucial to your business.  Get in touch – we’d love to help you achieve those standards and be a leader in your industry.

Check out our eLearning course on how to achieve a maximum Food Hygiene Rating for your food business! Sign up for a free trial today!

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Haccp Training Courses

Our HACCP Training

here at CaterSafe we offer the full range of HACCP training courses you will need if you are in the catering or food manufacturing industries. See the full list below.

HACCP Level 2 for Catering

The gaining of this qualification will enable individuals to understand the importance of implementing a food safety management system, based on the Codex HACCP principles, in a catering environment. They will learn their role in ensuring the effective operation of the HACCP system and gain the knowledge to identify, control and monitor hazards at points critical to food safety within their business. They will also understand the importance of taking corrective action when critical limits are breached and become familiar with the documentation and records needed to support a HACCP system.

Duration of course: 1 day 

Level 3 Award in Supervising HACCP for Catering (QCF)

This qualification further expands on the fundamentals of the Level 2 Award in HACCP for Catering. It is suitable for supervisors, managers, chefs, trainers and HACCP team members employed within a catering environment.

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 requires that ‘those responsible for the development and maintenance of the HACCP system have received adequate training in the application of the HACCP principles’.

This qualification will provide candidates with the knowledge to develop, implement and maintain a food safety management system based on Codex HACCP principles, in a catering environment. They will understand the legal requirements pertaining to HACCP and the flexibility allowed, the importance of prerequisite programmes and the role of supervisors in monitoring, taking corrective action, completing and checking documentation and verifying and reviewing the HACCP system.

It is recommended that candidates have completed the Level 3 Award in Food Safety, before attending this course.

Duration of course: 3 days 

Level 4 Award in Managing HACCP for Catering

The Level 4 HACCP qualification is aimed primarily at learners either at, or working towards, a management level in a catering business. Achievement of either of these qualifications will enable learners to understand the importance of implementing a food safety management system, based on the Codex HACCP principles, and give learners the skills to evaluate HACCP plans critically.

It is highly recommended that individuals have already completed a Level 4 Award in Food Safety, or the equivalent, and/or a Level 3 HACCP qualification before attending this course.

This qualification is very useful for auditors, enforcers, trainers and other food safety professionals.This qualification covers the skills needed to assist in the implementation of a HACCP system, to evaluate HACCP plans critically and to understand the importance of having an effective HACCP system in place.

Duration of course: 5 days 

Level 2 Award for HACCP for Manufacturing

This qualification will allow individuals to understand the importance of implementing a food safety management system, based on the Codex HACCP principles, in a Food Manufacturing environment. They will learn their role in ensuring the effective operation of the HACCP system and gain the knowledge to identify, control and monitor hazards at points critical to food safety within their business. They will also understand the importance of taking corrective action when critical limits are breached and become familiar with the documentation and records needed to support a HACCP system.
Duration of course: 1 day 

Level 3 Award for HACCP for Food Manufacturing

This regulated qualification expands on the fundamentals of the Level 2 Award in HACCP in Manufacturing.

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 requires that ‘those responsible for the development and maintenance of the HACCP principles have received adequate training in the application of the HACCP principles’. In order for employees to deal competently and confidently with this requirement, a thorough understanding of Codex HACCP principles is needed.

Those achieving this qualification will understand how the 12 Codex steps to HACCP contribute to safe food production. They will learn:

how to identify, control and monitor significant hazards at points which are critical to food safety; the appropriate corrective action to take when critical limits are breached; the type of documentation and records required; an understanding of the need to review the HACCP system at appropriate times.

This qualification is fully compliant with industry and regulatory standards, as well as being recognised by environmental health practitioners, auditors and other enforcement officers. Individuals achieving this qualification will understand the importance of adapting HACCP principles for product-based and process-led situations.
Duration of course: 5 days 

Level 4 Award in HACCP for Food Manufacturing

Level 4 HACCP qualifications are aimed at learners either at, or working towards, a management level in a manufacturing business. Achievement of either of these qualifications will enable learners to understand the importance of implementing a food safety management system, based on the Codex HACCP principles, and give learners the skills to evaluate HACCP plans critically.
It is highly recommended that individuals have already completed a Level 4 Award in Food Safety, or the equivalent, and/or a Level 3 HACCP qualification before attending this course.

These qualifications are useful for auditors, enforcement officers and other food safety professionals.
Duration of course: 5 days 

NB: All of the above accredited training courses are accredited by either HABC or the CIEH.

For more details, please contact a member of our training team.

 Office: 01233 822201

 Mobile: 07513022881