Catering hygiene guide gets first update in 20 years

Thai Sabai, Leeds 01

Food and hygiene safety experts are set to launch the long-awaited new guide to good hygiene practice in the catering industry next Monday.

The Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering 2016, which is recognised by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, is designed ti help businesses serve food that’s safe to eat.

The official launch will be marked by speakers including Catherine Brown, CEO at the Food Standards Agency and leading food safety experts and representatives from the hospitality industry.

Recent high-profile food hygiene cases have put the issue of food safety firmly in the spotlight, none more so than that of a restaurateur who was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence in May after a diner died from a severe peanut allergy in his restaurant.

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.

Given that it can be sometimes difficult to interpret what the law really means in practice, the updated Industry Guide to compliance and best practice will be invaluable to anyone working in catering.

Publication of the 70-page document will also be accompanied by the launch of an interactive app that will allow users to search the guide by topics.

The new Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering 2016 is the first update to the guidelines for 20 years and has been put together by a team of food safety and risk experts from the British Hospitality Association. They have been working with the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, to revise the guide.

Professor Lisa Ackerley, chartered environmental health practitioner and food expert for the BHA, said: “This long-awaited guide provides an essential standard for food safety to help food businesses understand what is required of them, and will help drive improved consistency of enforcement and third party inspections in the catering industry. Finally we have a level playing field for all.”

Darryl Thomson, head of safety at pub giant Mitchells & Butlers, added: “The Catering Guide will provide food businesses with much needed clarity and a useful benchmark of legal compliance. Businesses will be able to compare their own food safety policies and practices, as well as target changes to achieve the most efficient and effective means of compliance.  These tools will support a culture of best practice specific to operators and ultimately help improve standards across the industry.”

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