Watchdog’s findings highlight the urgent need for food safety training

Eateries across the country need to tighten up their food hygiene management and where necessary re-educate their staff via professional food safety training courses. The results of the latest investigations demand an improvement.

BBC’s Watchdog programme took samples at random from ten outlets from each of the major food chains in the UK. Alarmingly, the biggest firms were named and shamed. McDonalds had three cases of faecal coliforms, six cases at Burger King and seven at KFC.Faecal bacteria werepresent in their ice. Whilst the levels of contamination varied, there were four Burger King and five KFC samples which had “significant” levels.

Defra stipulates that no water for human consumption should carry any faecal contamination.

The bad news follows testing of samples of iced drinks from Costa Coffee, Starbucks, and Caffè Nero; these contained “varying levels of the bacteria.” Costa Coffee had seven contaminated samples, their rivals had three from the ten taken.

This is clearly a disaster for the industry; trust must be rebuilt and food safety training which explains the legislation, practices and responsibilities of employees, supervisors and management should be taken at the earliest opportunity, even by small operations.

By booking your team on to e-learning food safety courses through specialist firms such as Food Alert you can relish peace of mind garnered from a small time and financial investment in food hygiene training. The courses could save you fromfines, legal action and potential closure due to poor food hygiene levels.

Personal hygiene plays an integral part in food hygiene issues, it seems that not everyone can be trusted to wash their hands or to not use their mobile phone in the kitchen. A US study found that one in six mobile phones carried faecal matter and these were present in professional kitchens. Our kitchens potentially pose risks in this area too.

Food safety training courses to consider:

 (Level 2 is GCSE grades A*-C equivalent, level 3 is AS/A level.)

  • CIEH Food Safety Awareness.
  • Food Safety Induction Training.
  • CIEH level 1 Food Safety training.
  • CIEH level 2 Food Safety training.
  • CIEH level 3 Food Safety training.
  • RSPH level 4 Managing Food Safety.
  • CIEH level 2 Food Safety in Manufacturing.
  • CIEH level 3 Supervising Food Safety in Manufacturing.
  • CIEH level 4 Managing Food Safety in Manufacturing.
  • Level 2 Award in Principles of HACCP.
  • Level 3 Award in HACCP in Catering.
  • Personalising HACCP plans.

HACCP food safety training level 2 (GCSE equivalent) content:

  • The components of HACCP food safety management systems.
  • Risk awareness.
  • HACCP’s purpose and benefits.
  • How to use HACCP.
  • HACCP’s seven principles.
  • Establishing HACCP food safety management systems.
  • Identifying HACCP procedures.
  • Hazard recognition.
  • Critical control points.
  • Corrective actions at all levels of employment.
  • Food hygiene – assessing critical control points.
  • Contamination and its sources.
  • Controls to prevent contamination.
  • How to reduce/eliminate risks using HACCP.
  • How HACCP reduces risks.
  • Workplace safety.
  • Staff competency.

Don’t take chances. Educate, refresh learning at least every three years and think like a food safety auditor to protect your clients, workers and your business.

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