The major hygiene hazards include:
These hazards could result in food poisoning or allergic reactions.
It is a legal requirement for food business operators to ensure food handlers receive appropriate supervision and training in food hygiene.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a way of managing food safety hazards in a food business. Food safety management procedures should be based on HACCP principles. It is essential that good practices are undertaken so food is fit for consumption, including good personal hygiene, food storage, preparation and thorough cleaning of preparation areas.
Food hygiene rating is a way to standardise food hygiene levels within food businesses. These ratings are given by the local authority following the Food Standard Agency scheme, which indicates whether the business is keeping to the standards required by law.
Food safety certificates do not expire as they are not a legal requirement. However, it is considered best practice as it demonstrates your commitment to food safety e.g. employees having suitable training and knowledge.
Food hygiene inspections are carried out by Environmental Health Officers and Trading Standards Officers.
They have the right to inspect your premises at any time, and will look at the following:
There are 14 specified food allergens:
People can either experience a minor or major allergic reaction.
Symptoms of minor allergic reactions include:
Symptoms of major allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) include:
To avoid cross-contamination, workspaces should be regularly cleaned and different utensils should be used when preparing certain foods.
Other ways to prevent cross-contamination include regularly washing hands, have colour coded chopping boards to differentiate between foods and wash fruits and vegetables during preparation.
Cross-contact happens when one food with an allergen touches another food and the allergen is then transferred to the other food.
Cross-contamination is when bacteria is accidentally transferred from one food to another. Cross-contamination can lead to foodborne illnesses, whereas cross-contact can lead to an allergic reaction.
Allergens in food should be clearly highlighted when listed alongside other ingredients, such as by using bold type or underlining allergens.
The Food Standards Agency states that staff handling food are supervised, instructed and trained in food hygiene, and undertake relevant training.
A food intolerance is when someone has difficulty digesting certain foods or ingredients. This can cause symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea or skin irritation.
A food allergy is when the body’s immune system reacts unusually to specific food, causing anything from mild to life threatening symptoms.
There are currently no cures for food allergies. However, there are treatments for some allergies, and many children grow out of certain ones such as allergies to milk or eggs.