FOOD SAFETY

New food safety guidelines launched in wake of peanut allergy death

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

“This is about more than complying with the law” new food safety guide

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

The British Hospitality Association (BHA), in association with food safety experts, has launched a new industry guide designed to help food businesses avoid potentially dangerous slip-ups.

The guide, which has been recognised by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), marks the first update to food safety guidelines in 20 years.

Food safety was thrust tragically into the spotlight this month when a restaurateur was jailed for manslaughter by gross negligence after a customer died after suffering an allergic reaction to ground peanuts.

Professor Lisa Ackerley, food safety adviser to the BHA, said: "This is about more than complying with the law. We believe that constantly striving for improved standards can only be good for the reputation of the industry as a 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."

Violations

Several pubs have been punished for serious food hygiene violations this year.

One Hull pub, the Albert Hotel, was banned from serving food when inspectors discovered filthy conditions in the kitchen and long-expired food including a stew that had been left out so long it had grown "furry" mould​.

Another pub, the Cheshire Yeoman in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, was slapped with a £6,000 fine​ when environmental health officers found the kitchen covered in grease and dirt as well as a "contaminated" ice cream machine.

The guide covers how to fully comply with EU and UK hygiene regulations and features guidance on information to be taken into account by local authority enforcement officers, how to achieve top food hygiene ratings in the national scheme, food safety management and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems.

Vital

Catherine Brown, chief executive of the FSA, said: "It is 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."

The guide also features advice on training requirements for different levels of staff, best practice arrangements that businesses could implement beyond the scope of the law and advice on how to comply with EU regulation on allergens in food.

It will be available in hard copy for £16 or as a downloadable PDF for £10 from Monday 11 July and can be pre-ordered from the BHA website.

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