You may own a business, manage or work in a food related environment but how aware are you of what food inspectors look for when they audit a premises or which legislation has altered, been superseded or suspended?
If you were asked some questions would you be able to answer them confidently, guess or shrug your shoulders in ignorance?
- Can you use mobile phones in a food preparation area?
- Do you need to be HACCP compliant to work in the UK and Europe?
- Does seafood live on the top or bottom shelf of a fridge?
- Can you use the same knife for cooked meats and salad vegetables?
- If food drops to the floor can it be washed and consumed?
- Would you wash your hands with water and think that was sufficient?
- Are you food safety certified? Is your team? Or your business?
- A use by date has passed on a product, is it OK to use it anyway?
- Where are your health and safety – including food hygiene – logs kept?
- What is Codex?
Have these questions confirmed that you and your employees need to take food safety training, improve on site procedures and educate yourself about legislation?
An overview of the food safety legislation that you should be familiar with:
The Food Safety Act 1990 (as amended) –This act is the framework for all British food safety legislation.
The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 (as amended) – This deals with penalties related to a lack of adherence to the regulations in the above act.
The General Food Law Regulation (EC) 178/2002 – This is EU legislation. Until Brexit and perhaps after it the UK food industry must conform to it. It addresses import and export laws, food safety, the traceability of food and the effective withdrawal of unsafe products.
The Food Information Regulation 2014 – This is legislation for food labelling. How food is labelled can have a huge impact on allergy sufferers, health and safety.
The General Food Regulations 2004 (as amended.) – In Scotland and Wales food related businesses adhere to this legislation which enforces EC 178/2002. Northern Ireland has a similar version.
Codex – This is an internationally recognised standard for food preparation and in agriculture. It protects consumer interests globally.
HACCP – Hazards Analysis Critical Control Points is a highly effective risk management system which addresses food hygiene from a preventative angle. It is mandatory under UK and EU legislation.
GMP –The Good Manufacturing Process. It’s employed in the UK, EU and in countries which have opted in. HACCP is the how of GMP.
Food safety training, a food safety management system and evidence of being food safety credited are much less expensive for a business than ignorance, negligence and a lack of application which could result in health and safety risks, perhaps legal action, penalties and closure.
Don’t take chances, invest in your business and your employees for success.