If food is part of your commercial offering, The Licensing Guys shouldn’t really be lecturing you on the importance of food safety. It goes without saying – a ‘given’ – that the food you provide should be safe.
A lack of food safety can result in disastrous outcomes:
On a personal level, an incorrectly labelled food product could kill someone, and as such the matter will end up in a criminal court or civil court or, most likely, both. At a business level, an outbreak of food poisoning will devastate your reputation and income stream, irrevocably, and probably only a complete change of ownership can turn that around in the eyes of the public. A low Food Safety rating can have similarly disastrous effects, as the outcomes of inspections are published online and ‘bad ones’ are regularly printed in the local newspapers.
Food Safety is therefore the most mission-critical part of your operation. Get it wrong, and businesses (and although rarely, perhaps people) die.
The Licensing Guys have helped a lot of business owners who have been inspected and given a low score, and are now bewailing the negative impact this has had. Excuses range from lack of time and money to the most commonly repeated phrase “I left that with xx as they’re our chef/caterer.”
Trust your staff to do a good job around Food Safety, but Verify on a regular basis but irregular timeline that they are actually doing what they should be doing with regard to Food Safety
Food Safety is regulated and enforced though local Council Officers who conduct inspections to check up on 3 key areas that you are scored on.
- Structural Compliance and the structure/maintenance of the kitchen, food preparation areas and any staff areas, including team toilets.
- Food Hygiene and Safety looks at the processes that you have in place and the ways of working, record keeping and food management systems.
- Confidence in Management is how you, as a manager or owner, implement the food safety systems across your operation and your knowledge in how this carried out. You need to know and oversee your business with confidence and not leave it to the head chef.
These inspections take place for several reasons, including routine sampling, investigations of complaints and (rarely) advisory visits.
These officers have a right to enter your premises to inspect what you are doing at any reasonable time, and they invariably arrive unannounced – which usually means in practice ‘the worst possible moment’!
Often they give advice, but where they find serious breaches they can close down your food operation and/or even prosecute you.
We can help you with that:
✅ You can download a copy of the Food Safety Checklist for free from the TLG Vault.
✅ You can access online certified training for your staff in Food Safety from our TLG Training Academy.
✅ You can engage us to conduct a Food Safety Audit of your business.
NB: If you like, we won’t even tell you when we will arrive within the next fortnight, so there is no way that our inspection can be anticipated by your staff.
☝️ Businesses who have used our inspection regime, especially following a less than ‘comfortable’ inspection from the Council, have gone on to regularise our involvement through a package of ongoing support and periodic check-ups.
☝️ We don’t intend to catch your staff out doing things wrong. We’d rather praise them for doing things right! We only seek to give you the reassurance that you have nothing to worry about.
More information can be found at the Food Standards Agency https://www.food.gov.uk/
Cooking up a storm? Better Call Paul!