5 food safety tips for pubs

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food safety, Hazard analysis and critical control points

Operators should keep documentary evidence of all training and checks carried out
Operators should keep documentary evidence of all training and checks carried out
The food safety enforcement regime is something operators should be acutely aware of. It is imperative to have good systems and procedures to protect yourselves from enforcement action, which can be damaging and costly to your business. Here are 5 tips to stay on the right side of the law.

One of the responsibilities of any environmental health section of a local authority is to police food premises and make sure that they have safe systems in place to protect the public. You may find yourself the subject of a food safety inspection either routinely or following a customer complaint.

Environmental health officers will look at the overall cleanliness of your premises (particularly the kitchen) and will want to see that you can identify potential hazards and control them. In addition, they will expect you to have appropriately qualified staff who have received training commensurate with their role. Officers will also be concerned about potential pests such as cockroaches, mice and rats.

  1. You should have a detailed written food safety policy, which clearly identifies the role and responsibilities of key members of staff in keeping the premises clean, safe and pest-free.
  2. Your policy should outline an appropriate HACCP system (hazard analysis and critical control point), which essentially identifies the highest-risk areas of the food operation and how those risks will be controlled. This will include the handling and storage of food, as well as checking systems to make sure that food is cooked through properly and not used beyond its sell-by date.
  3. Keep clear, documentary evidence of all training, as well as records of any checks that are carried out, and cleaning undertaken. These should be easily accessible and well-presented — if your records look professional, that is an easy positive point to score in any food safety inspection.
  4. Take advice from expert consultants where appropriate. If there is no-one in your organisation who has the experience and know-how to properly set up your system, then have a professional do it for you. Equally, in terms of pest control, it is very sensible to employ a specialist company to carry out regular visits. Make sure you follow its recommendations in terms of any pest-proofing work that needs to be undertaken — and keep clear records of this too.
  5. Take advice from your local environmental health department. It may have useful tips and documentation to assist you in setting up a robust, preventative system.

The damage that can be done to a business as a result of a food safety prosecution should not be underestimated. There may well be lots of negative publicity if you are responsible for an outbreak of food poisoning, or indeed have a problem with mice or rats at your premises.

Beyond that, there is the real risk of very high fines. When you add in your own legal costs in defending the case and the inevitable claim for prosecution costs, you could easily be looking at tens of thousands of pounds.

Related topics: Food trends

Related news

Show more