First update to catering industry hygiene guide for 20 years

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The British Hospitality Association has launched the ‘Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering 2016’. Produced by food safety and hygiene experts, the new handbook for caterers will help businesses serve food that’s safe to eat.

Keeping up with the latest regulations on food safety can be an unwelcome extra burden for those working in the catering industry but the consequences can be catastrophic if those preparing food and drink for large numbers of people get it wrong. However, it can be sometimes difficult to interpret what the law really means in practice.

Put together by a team of food safety and risk experts from the British Hospitality Association, the new industry guide is the first update to the guidelines for 20 years and is recognised by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland.

Professor Lisa Ackerley, chartered environmental health practitioner and food expert for the BHA, said: “This is about more than just complying with the law. We believe that constantly striving for improved standards can only be good for the reputation of the industry as whole. All catering businesses should familiarise themselves with this guide as soon as possible – nobody likes the adverse headlines that food safety can generate when it goes wrong. But it’s also in everyone’s interest that they try to keep raising their game to drive up the standards in the hospitality industry as a whole.”

Jenny Morris, head of The Institute of Food Safety Integrity and Protection, said that it’s vital that food businesses have systems in place to keep their customers safe, and the guide will provide caterers with practical advice on how to comply with their responsibilities under food hygiene legislation.

“We have been waiting a long time for this essential industry guide,” she said. “It will be invaluable to both the catering industry and enforcement officers as it gives advice on what compliance with the law looks like. This will help greatly in building understanding of legal requirements and will promote industry good practice. So I would recommend that every catering business gets a copy and makes sure that they are following its advice in day to day operations. I expect it to be used extensively by local authorities and it may also prove extremely useful for any business that wants to improve its food hygiene rating score.”

To build a successful business, all caterers want and need to serve safe food. The guide gives advice and guidance to caterers on how to comply with their legal obligations under European and UK hygiene regulations.

Just as important are the suggestions the guide makes for best industry practice thus guiding the industry to achieving the highest standards. It covers the information needed to be taken into account by Local Authority enforcement officers when carrying out inspections of a business premises and its equipment and advises how businesses can score a high grade in the national Hygiene Ratings Scheme.

There is also a strong focus on food hygiene and safety procedures, food safety management procedures and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) systems and advice on training requirements for different levels of staff.

Available from the BHA website, the guide will launch on 11 July.

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