Food safety

New food safety guidelines after grandmother ‘dies of suspected food poisoning’

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Dirty food pubs make the headlines for the wrong reasons
Dirty food pubs make the headlines for the wrong reasons

Related tags Food safety Food standards agency Hygiene

Food safety and hygiene experts are set to reveal a nationally recognised guide to legal hygiene practices, days after a woman died of suspected food poisoning linked to eating at a pub carvery.

The Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering 2016 ​is the first update of such guidelines in 20 years and follows the launch of an investigation into the death of a 53-year-old grandmother​ who died after being violently ill.

Both the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland recognise the new guidelines, which have been spearheaded by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) with help from other experts including food safety company Acoura.

The updated guidelines, which were welcomed by FSA chief executive Catherine Brown, will be officially launched in London on Monday 11 July.

Comply with responsibilities

What the guidelines include:

  • Information taken into account by local authorities
  • Requirements in complying with the law
  • Guidance to achieve top marks in the FSA’s Hygiene Rating Scheme
  • Requirements for premises and equipment
  • Food hygiene and safety procedures
  • Food safety management procedures
  • Advice on staff training requirements
  • Best practice arrangements beyond the law
  • Advice on allergen and complying with Food Information to Consumer legislation

Brown 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.”

Head of the Institute of Food Safety Integrity and Protection Jenny Morris, who spoke exclusively to the Publican’s Morning Advertiser ​in the past about preventing food fraud​ in pubs, said the guide was a long time coming.

“It will be invaluable to both the catering industry and enforcement officers because it gives advice on what compliance with the law looks like,” Morris added.

“This will help greatly in building understanding of legal requirements and will promote good practice.”

Food-serving pubs

Morris recommended food-serving pubs buy a copy of the guidelines, which cost £16, and predicted it would also be used extensively by local authorities.

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 a whole.”

All catering businesses should familiarise themselves with this guide as soon as possible – nobody likes the averse 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.”

Avoid making headlines for the wrong reason by reading the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’​s report on food safety failures​.

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