Over 150 food and hygiene safety experts attended the launch of the long-awaited new industry guide to good hygiene practice in the catering industry on Monday, July 11.
The Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering 2016, which is recognised by the Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland, and assured by the BHA’s Primary Authority, Cornwall Council, will help businesses serve food that’s safe to eat.
Ufi Ibrahim, the Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association opened the official launch event at the RAF Club saying: “Businesses need consistency, constancy and clarity and this guide will provide all three ‘Cs’.”
FSA Chief Executive, Catherine Brown, who gave the keynote speech at the prestigious event has welcomed the publication of the BHA’s Catering Industry Guide and said it is “a major update to the guidance – written by the industry for the industry.”
Last updated in 1995, this guide has now been re-written by the British Hospitality Association’s Food Experts Group with valuable input from Environmental Health Practitioners and other stakeholders.
Ms Brown continued, “the guide is clear, easy to use, and based on the advice of BHA’s food safety experts. It’s vital that food businesses have systems in place to keep their customers safe, and this guide will provide caterers with practical advice on how to comply with their responsibilities under food hygiene legislation.”
Leading food safety experts and representatives from the hospitality industry also had a change to quiz the authors about the guide.
Robert Kitchen, Chairman of the BHA Industry Guide Working Group said: “It has been important to make sure that the new guide is as good as the old one and ready for the next generation.”
As well as the easy to use 70-page, A4 guide (unit price £16 exc. VAT), the guide is available as an online document (£10 exc. VAT per licence) and the BHA has launched a unique interactive app containing the guide with search by topics (available on iOS and Android for £11.99 per user) - details on how to buy a copy of the guide can be found below.
Professor Lisa Ackerley, Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner and food expert for the BHA said: “This long-awaited Guide provides an essential standard for food safety to help food businesses understand what is required of them, and will help drive improved consistency of enforcement and third party inspections in the catering industry. Finally we have a level playing field for all.”
The guide was also welcomed by the Food Standards Scotland Chief Executive, Geoff Ogle, who said the new Catering Industry Guide is “a user-friendly tool to support businesses across the catering sector with practical advice on hygiene compliance.”
Jenny Morris, Head of The Institute of Food Safety Integrity and Protection remarked that the guide will be “invaluable” to both the catering industry and enforcement officers as it “gives advice on what compliance with the law looks like. I would recommend that every catering business gets a copy and makes sure that they are following its advice in day to day operations.”
She added: “The guide is expected to be used extensively by local authorities and it may also prove extremely useful for any business that wants to improve its food hygiene rating score.”
David Travers QC, event facilitator, commented: “I was delighted to be involved with this event, which has demonstrated once again just how effective the industry can be in helping both caterers and regulators ensure the consumer is safe”.
Speaking at the event Darryl Thomson, Head of Safety, Mitchells & Butlers said: “The Catering Guide provides food businesses with much needed clarity on best practice. It dispels common kitchen myths as well as being a useful benchmark of legal compliance.”
The guide gives advice and guidance to caterers on how to comply with their legal obligations. But just as important are the suggestions the guide makes for best industry practice thus guiding the industry to achieving the highest standards.
The guide includes:
- Information to be taken into account by Local Authority enforcement officers when carrying out inspections of your business
- The requirements of “How to comply with the law”
- Guidance to achieve the top score in the respective national Hygiene Ratings Scheme
- Requirements for premises and equipment
- Food hygiene and safety procedures
- Food safety management procedures and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) systems
- Advice on training requirements for different levels of staff
- Best practice arrangements that businesses may choose to implement beyond the scope of the law
- Advice on how to comply with the allergen requirements of the Food Information for Consumers Regulation 2014
To purchase your copy of the Guide please go to BHA website. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Acoura, The Royal Society for Public Health and Highfield will also be selling the hard copy guide on behalf of the BHA.