New kitchen guidelines from April 2018 must impose ‘minimum burden’ on operators

Chester Grosvenor kitchen

The industry body that represents pubs and restaurants in the UK says it has opened talks with the Food Standards Agency (FCA) to ensure new acrylamide regulations affecting the cooking of food are properly communicated to the trade.

The FSA yesterday made a statement about measures that will require food businesses in the UK to implement practical steps to manage acrylamide within their food safety management systems.

Resulting from new EU legislation, the measures will apply from April 2018, with guidelines to aid understanding of the enforcement of the legislation becoming available in the New Year.

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Acrylamide forms naturally during high temperature cooking and processing, such as frying, roasting and baking, particularly in potato-based products and cereal-based products. It is not possible to eliminate acrylamide from foods, but actions can be taken to try and ensure that acrylamide levels are as low as reasonably achievable.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), said it would do everything in its power to ensure the new guidelines are implemented in kitchens without causing disruption.

“We are in dialogue with the FSA and other trade body partners to ensure that sector guidance is clear, realistic and imposes the minimum burden on eating and drinking out venues while safeguarding the identified health risks,” she explained.

“The report accompanying today’s announcement illustrates how the food industry, including eating out businesses across the UK, has made great strides in improving food safety for consumers. Our members take this issue very seriously and the report states that the industry has already developed best practice in this area that helps safeguard consumers.”

Mrs Nicholls noted that the FSA’s report acknowledged that the inconsistency of how food is cooked in the home presents a “greater risk” and said this is where the FSA should focus its efforts.

The FSA has been undertaking surveillance on acrylamide levels in food products since 2007.

Further information on the new legislation on acrylamide mitigation in food can be found HERE.

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