Fines for poor food hygiene are on the increase
In recent years, fines for poor food hygiene practices have been increasing, and EHO’s have raised their standards higher than ever when inspecting catering businesses. Understanding the correct procedures for safe food hygiene is crucial to achieving a pass, and ideally, a five-star rating, on your next Food Hygiene inspection.
In January this year, in a well publicized case, a Birmingham restaurant was fined £50,000 for serving food on unhygienic wooden boards. There was an additional fine due to staff not washing their hands and inefficient cleaning of the property, as well as a victim surcharge.
Also in January, an Edmonton restaurant director was fined over £8000 due to five food and hygiene offences. Despite being inspected in 2016 and 2017, the restaurant had shown few improvements in procedures, and was fined in for not correctly dealing with many cross-contamination risks, having poor food safety management and no food hygiene training for its food handlers.
It should not be just threat of fines that should encourage businesses to get the correct food safety training and ensure food safety procedures are in place, but the risk of causing harm to your customers, with the risk of the reputation of your business. Social media can let bad news travel very quickly.
So, what do you need to know?
New guidelines on food safety are frequently being revised and published. A recent BBC documentary has shown that, on average, the dirtiest place in a kitchen is the cleaning cloth or sponge in the sink.
We recommend cloths are only used for non food contact surfaces, of for initial cleaning before a sanitizing procedure. Sponges used for dish washing should be changed regularly & bleached at least once a day.
The best way to ensure that you are adhering to good food hygiene guidelines is for you and your staff to take the appropriate Food Hygiene Training courses.
Level 1: This for all temporary or part-time staff who do not handle open food and are under continuous supervision. It should also form part of an induction training for all new staff.
Level 2: This for all staff members who prepare or handle open foods, and is accepted by Environmental Health Officers as adequate to conform with the legal minimum. This should be completed within 3 months of starting work & refreshed every 3 years.
Level 3: We recommend this for all catering business owners and supervisors.
Cowan Catering Management can provide all these courses at your premises and will supply each learner with a relevant text book for reference. See our training page for more details.< Go Back