Retaining sufficient Food Hygiene Requirements is a must for any food business which is why there are many Food Hygiene Programs based after current UK legislation. tapas
Legislation surrounding food production and handling in the UK is always changing and evolving which means maintaining to day is very important. Recently, in 2006, the government presented the ‘Food Hygiene Polices Act’ (HACCP) which more or less just lengthened the legislation passed in 1995. The earlier legal guidelines required all food handlers to be supervised, advised and trained in food hygiene matters to a level appropriate to their job, while the 06\ act explained this as well as two additional and important new fillings:
1) A Food Basic safety Management System must be implemented and records held demonstrating compliance with the legal regulations.
2) Businesses must identify steps critical to food safety and ensure enough procedures are identified, implemented, maintained and reviewed using HACCP guidelines.
Punishments for food protection offences
Food business owners who do not conform with food hygiene legal guidelines can receive large fees or even prison paragraphs. Fines can be as much as? 5, 1000 and prison sentences six months. In more serious cases, for more extreme food safety offences, fees could be as much as? 20, 000 and perpetrators could address 2 years in prison.
Just about every local authority in the UK has the power to control the sales of unfit, injurious or sub-standard food. Environmental Wellness Officers, (EHOs), have the power to enter any establishment to carry away an inspection or get samples at any fair time. An EHO might also impose an improvement order, close down your business, fine you or prosecute you. It is against the law to prevent them from gaining access to the food premises. Failure to co-operate with an EHO is a criminal offence. Do not forget that the EHO is actually there to help you. Their responsibility is to ensure that the food you produce/sell/serve to the general public is safe. In the event that an Environmental Health Expert believes there is an imminent risk to peoples’ health, they may issue a hygiene emergency prohibition notice and immediately close the business.
Your EHO’s role is to:
Accomplish schedule inspections
Investigate food poisoning outbreaks
Investigate food issues
Ensure product safety and fitness
Monitor conditions and hygienic operations
Ensure complying with legislation
Take away suspect food and have it ruined in case it is unsafe
Take companies to court for disregarding food safety laws.
You will sometimes hear the words, ‘Due Diligence’. This kind of means in Law you have taken all reasonable safeguards, (shown due diligence) to ensure food safety. As a result you have done everything you possibly can to make certain that the food you serve is safe. Created records are also a good way of showing ‘due diligence’. If you can provide evidence that you have cooked the foodstuff to the correct heat, stored the food effectively, and served the food at the right heat within a set time frame, these can be used as a ‘due diligence defence’.
Say for example you see symptoms of pest activity, and then you report this to your supervisor, you have shown due homework. Should your supervisor then determines to do nothing about it, any fine from the EHO, (? 5000 to? 20, 000) will be imposed on your supervisor, not you. As well should you be sick and report this to your supervisor before starting work, you have shown due diligence. In case your boss then tells you to visit work, then once again, any fine from the EHO will be imposed on the boss not you. Owners and anyone who is responsible for food premises have increased legal duties than food handlers. Always remember that what the law states is there to protect you and moreover to ensure that the meals you produce, sell or help to the general general public is safe.