Food hygiene and safety is important for many reasons, but some food business still fail to achieve a good rating for hygiene. Statistics show Hyndburn, Lancashire is worst place in the UK for food safety and hygiene with 65% of food premises failing to meet basic standards for the way food is prepared and handled. Birmingham and Newham, East London follow in second and third places respectively. Whereas the best place in the UK to eat safe food is Erewash in Derbyshire with 97% of food premises meeting basic standards of food hygiene and safety. You may think food hygiene is a problem in takeaway restaurants, but more than 650 hotels across the UK also received a poor hygiene rating after an EHO inspection. Children are at risk group and serious symptoms of food poisoning, including death, are more frequent. But figures in 2016 show 67 schools across the UK had a hygiene a rating of one.
Safe food and a good food hygiene rating can impact customer choice. A recent survey by Checkit reported that 75% of consumers would never eat in a food premises implicated in food poisoning or hygiene incident, and 61% said there would not visit a food premises with a food hygiene rating of 2 or less.
There is no requirement for a business to display a food hygiene rating in England, but there is growing pressure to make it a mandatory requirement. Food businesses in Wales have to clearly display a food hygiene rating and publicity materials for takeaways must signpost customers to the food hygiene rating website. Forcing food business operators to display food hygiene rating has improved standards in Wales with 94% of food businesses having rating of 3 and above.
Implementing and maintaining high standards of food safety is not a difficult task. The Food Standards Agency provide plenty of free guidance and documentation to help small food premises achieve basic standards of food hygiene. Safer food, better business (SFBB) enables small businesses (e.g. takeaways, schools) with a simple food safety management system to comply with food hygiene regulations. The guidance is clear and available in different languages. Free food safety training videos to train food handlers are also available to watch via the Food Standards Agency’s Youtube channel. But food a management systems based on the principles of HACCP and training commensurate with the work activity is not enough. A food business needs to demonstrate a positive food safety culture where everyone takes ownership to provide safe food. This can be defined as shared attitudes, values and beliefs towards the preparation and handling of food. But culture does not happen by accident. It is created by a conscious effort of management to provide safe food and comply with the law.
Percipio Training can help you improve and maintain your food hygiene training. We offer a wide range of food safety courses at level 1 to 4, including HACCP, allergens awareness and management, auditing and inspection skills and implementing and maintaining a positive food safety culture. You can enrol onto one of our open courses in Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire) or London. Alternatively, we deliver an affordable onsite course at your premises for one or more people.
Contact us now to find out more on how we can support your business.