If you are running a business that involves food you will need to ensure that you put the right food safety and hygiene precautions in place. There is more to this than just ensuring that your surfaces are clean because you need to consider the way that food is stored and prepared.
What are your Responsibilities?
The Food Safety Act 1990 gives you three main responsibilities to follow:
- It permits you from adding or removing anything from food and you are not allowed to treat food in a way that would result in it posing a risk to those who consume it.
- The food that you sell or serve has to meet the standards that consumers expect.
- Food has to be clearly labelled and advertised as well as presented in a suitable way so that it is not misleading in any way.
So what can you do?
Keep pests under control
If you fail to meet the expected food standards, you will soon find that pests make an appearance. Once they have a hold on your kitchen they can spread extremely quickly which can lead to contaminated food through the spreading of foodborne diseases. Therefore, it is important that you put the correct pest control measures in place so that it can be monitored and dealt with as quickly as possible.
Deal with waste in a reliable manner
This ties in with the previous point because if you fail to manage waste correctly it will encourage pests to appear. Therefore, waste should be managed in accordance with legal requirements in order to prevent contamination.
To prevent dirt from spreading, business should have waste storage areas and the right containers. There should also be procedures in place for the removal and storage of waste in order to stop waste from building up.
This is more important than you may realise because poor personal hygiene is likely lead to poor food hygiene and it will result in customers turning away. It is important that you make it possible for staff to carry out good hygiene by putting the correct facilities in place so that you can meet the relevant food safety requirements. This means that you will need to ensure that staff wash their hands regularly, their hair is tied up or covered and are not wearing jewellery.
Provide correct training for staff
The right training will make sure that staff fully understand what is expected of them while helping to reduce the risk of contamination. Certain regulations require those who handle food to be supervised as well as being trained in maintaining good food hygiene.
A work environment that is clean
If your work environment is clean it will make it easier to implement good food safety. Meeting the correct hygiene standards can be achieved through disinfection and regular cleaning and this will also help to prevent foodborne illnesses and bacteria.
The machinery also needs cleaning but not as frequently as surfaces or cooking utensils as these can contain microorganisms that can result in food poisoning.
Stuart Jessop is a licensing barrister in London, specialising in health and safety, licensing, planning and regulatory law.