Food Hygiene And Your Business – Have You Got It Covered?
Regardless of the kind of catering business you’re involved in, the Food Hygiene Ratings will apply to you, and the better your level of hygiene, the more confident customers will be when they approach your business. Not only that but having great food safety standards will mean you are less likely to need to rely on your insurance to settle any claims, meaning you will save money on premiums. But what are the basics when it comes to getting those coveted 5 stars that show you are a very good place to eat?
The ratings system used in England and Wales doesn’t have a way of judging things like the quality of your food, your customer service or the comfort of your premises – those are up to you. Instead, the ratings system covers a number of different aspects of food preparation but most significantly, you need to ensure that the way you handle and store food complies with the highest requirements. You also need to evidence that food is prepared to a 5-star standard and that the cleanliness of your facilities meets the required level. You also need to prove that you manage food safety well, and this will include the ways in which you train staff, keep records and rotate your stock.
When you’re inspected, it will be by a food safety officer from your local authority, they will look at three key elements:
- how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
- the physical condition of the business –including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, pest control and other facilities
- how the business manages ways of keeping food safe, looking at processes, training and systems to ensure good hygiene is maintained.
To get a rating of 5, your business needs to meet each of these demands extremely well and show that you’ll be able to do so consistently in the future. This should be your aim, as you’ll want to make sure that your business is as safe for you and your customers as it can possibly be.
You’ll never know when you are likely to be inspected, although each local authority plans a programme of inspections every year. Inspectors will arrive without an appointment and for that reason, complying with the standards each and every day is a sensible aim for your business, as losing a level in your rating can damage your reputation and your profits.
For more information about the kind of catering insurance that’s right for you, visit https://www.cateringinsurance.co.uk/
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