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Food hygiene: what goes on behind closed doors?

closed doorsThe Food Standards Agency stated recently that, according to their latest public attitudes tracker, the main food safety issue the public are most concerned about is food hygiene when eating out.

We have all seen television programmes which follow environmental health inspectors into various restaurants, cafes and take-aways, some of which look perfectly acceptable front of house. It is only when the doors to the kitchens, refrigeration and storage areas are opened that various horrors are revealed.

Scores on the Doors

Many savvy customers already consult a food hygiene ratings database called ‘Scores on the Doors’ before opting to dine or purchase take-away food at a particular establishment. This gives ratings based on the results of Local Authority health inspections and range from Zero – very poor, to 5 Stars – excellent. Unsurprisingly those with 4 or 5 stars often proudly display their certificate in a prominent position, whereas those with poor ratings prefer not to…. More information can be found at www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk

Basic food hygiene training is a legal requirement

Every person handling food as part of their job is required by law to undertake basic training so that they can learn how to produce safe food in a hygienic environment. Poor hygiene and an ineffective food safety management system can not only cause food poisoning or even fatalities in your customers. As a direct consequence it can also seriously damage the reputation of your business and your income.

Personal cleanliness, protective clothing and clean equipment are high priorities when working with food, but it is also important to have an understanding of how contamination occurs and what can be done to prevent it.

Catering with Confidence

If you work as a supervisor or manager in a catering environment, the best way to ensure that the food you serve is prepared safely and hygienically is to undertake a recognised training course.  The RSPH Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety is an intensive 3 day course which will provide you with the knowledge and expertise to implement food safety procedures with confidence and impart that knowledge to others.

By the end of the course you will be competent in detecting, controlling and preventing contamination and cross-contamination by chemicals, microorganisms, chemicals, foreign bodies and chemicals. You will also be proficient in developing and implementing control measures such as temperature control, preservation techniques and pest control and be able to take corrective actions in the case of breakdowns or failures in these measures.

No time to train?

Taking time out of a busy schedule to undertake training is not always an option, particularly if you are a small business. However, the good news is that we now offer both Level 2 and Level 3 Food Safety training online. The easy-to-follow modular formats of the courses mean that you don’t miss out on essential training and can complete the training in your own time and at your own pace. To find out more about our online courses click here