Do you know whether you’re following the correct procedures for food hygiene at all times?
Are your employees competent in this area?
If an inspector arrived at your premises would you be confident or panic?
The Food Standards Agency in co-operation with local authorities will send an inspector to every food preparation, supply and fresh food retail establishment to ensure that their standards for food hygiene are being adhered to. Whether you are a street vendor or a restaurant with Michelin stars you must adhere to the rules or suffer the consequences.
If you are even slightly unsure what the inspectors look for during their visits and how to achieve optimum food hygiene and safety then you should consider taking a food hygiene training course. If you have a team of people working for and with you then they’ll need training too. Ignorance is not a valid excuse.
The Food Standards Agency issues a score from 1-5 based on their findings and a sticker with the score must be displayed in a prominent position on the premises, normally in the window, so that customers have instant visibility of your premises levels of hygiene. If you get a less than desirable result you are not permitted to “forget” to display your sticker. The scores are available to everyone on the internet so if your score is a 1 you won’t be able to hide it, sorry!
0 – Urgent improvement needed
1 – Major improvement needed
2 – Improvement needed
3 – Generally satisfactory
4 – Good
5 – Very good
Every business has the potential to be accredited with a 5 but they need to be able to illustrate that they are follow the correct practices. If you don’t know what those practices are then how will you be able to achieve a great score which has a positive impact on your business and reputation?
Again if there is any doubt, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, you need to enrol on a food hygiene training course.
The cost of a food hygiene training course will always be less than a bad inspection and a low rating which customers will find off-putting.
It’s also recommended that if it’s been more than three years since your last food hygiene training course then a refresher course should be taken to make certain that there have been no changes or developments of the legislation in that time.
If you believe that your knowledge is adequate and that you won’t benefit from a basic food hygiene training course then many companies like Food Alert in London offer advanced food hygiene courses and these are available in equally convenient and effective online training packages.
Courses inform and remind vendors and food preparation staff about their obligations with food hygiene including cross contamination risks, how premises should be cleaned, how food groups must be stored and the correct ways to handle waste without causing a health or safety issue.