Food safety has now become a focal point within public opinion as awareness increases. It is vital that all businesses protect their consumers by ensuring high food safety standards from delivery through to service.
A recent prosecution of a hotel owner shows how serious food safety breaches can be. often we hear of cases where someone has been directly affected by a product from a business, however this example shows that a proactive food safety approach from Environmental Health and the consequences of poor food safety storage practices can impact a business.
A 5-star hotel in Shropshire recently received a £7,000 fine for a number of food safety breaches including; unsafe food, poor storage and large numbers of out of date products.
Environmental Health had received an anonymous complaint about the premise and inspected the hotel. The owner, Mr Brown stated the back shed was locked and could not be accessed. The EHO managed to gain access where they found the shed to be in very poor condition, poor storage of equipment as well as 10 fridges and freezers which held a large number of out of date and spoilt products. Mr Brown also had no systems in place and the structure was uncleanable.
In January 2019 the site was charged for failing to meet food hygiene regulations by failing to protect food from contamination, failing to carry out checks on stock, expiry dates, and monitoring of fridges and freezers which led to a £7,000 fine.
This prosecution highlights the importance of good food safety practices in a business, not only to protect consumers but also to protect your own business.
It is vital that all food businesses ensure they have the following:
- Good Food Safety Management System (FSMS)
- Structure is in good condition, ensuring no damages and in a good easily cleanable condition
- Good cleaning standards throughout
- Good supplier traceability
- Good traceability of products from delivery through to service, including temperature controls
- Good labelling
- Daily, weekly and monthly audits
- Pest preventative measures
- All staff are trained
Often complacency can result in standards dropping in a relatively short period of time. Ensuring that these above mentioned requirements are upheld should enable you to retain or improve your hygiene rating. This will also ensure that legal requirements are met.