BHA consulting on industry Food Hygiene Guide

Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering

The BHA is consulting on industry Food Hygiene Guide. If you are involved in catering, whether as an operator, an EHO, or other professional, the content of this official Industry Guide to compliance with the hygiene legislation could significantly affect your activity. Therefore, your views are sought on its content.

Background

This Industry Guide has been produced for businesses engaged in catering operations. It has been compiled in accordance with the recommendations prescribed in (EC) Regulation 852/2004 on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs (Articles 7 and 8), which provide for the development of national guides to good hygiene practice. Although primarily aimed at catering businesses, other industry stakeholders can use these guides as an aid to compliance with food safety regulations. In addition this guide has, in the past, been used comprehensively by Enforcement Officers to determine legal compliance and to aid consistency.

This guidance takes into account all amendments that have been made to Regulation (EC) 852/2004, which sets out the general hygiene requirements for all food business operators, together with the relevant parts of associated UK Food Hygiene Regulations.

The food safety risks most often associated with catering operations are wide and include physical, chemical and microbiological contamination together with bacterial growth and toxin production. In addition, contamination from allergens and the requirement to provide information on allergens in food are considered in this document.

Approach Taken

Representatives of the catering industry have produced this guide in collaboration with representatives of the FSA (Food Standards Agency) and FSS (Food Standards Scotland) and other interested stakeholders including Environmental Health Professionals.

The document has been reformatted to reflect the more modern approach taken by recent guides (for example the Spirit Drinks Guide), so you will notice that instead of the traditional 3 columns we have used one column to contain the legislation and two section headings – one “How to Comply with the Law” and the other “Best Practice.” It is made clear that there is no legal requirement to obtain “Best Practice.” Achieving the practices detailed in “How to Comply with the Law” should be sufficient to achieve the top score in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme or ‘Pass’ in the Scottish Food Hygiene Information Scheme.

Action requested

In keeping with the legal requirement, the views of interested parties are being sought. Therefore, in order to make comment, please email Lucy Aldrich-Smith: Lucy.Aldrich-Smith@bha.org.uk to obtain individual login details to access the draft Guide in order that you might comment, if you wish to do so. A copy of a pro forma will also be issued to you to insert comments.

The closing date for comments is 15 April 2016

When reviewing the document we would like to highlight a number of considerations you should be aware of;

  • for ease of drafting, pages have been numbered and reference made to sections within the text. Due to the typesetting process it is highly likely that the page numbers will change and therefore when reviewing reference should be made to page numbers within the consultation document, but these will inevitably be amended when typesetting is undertaken.
  • we have taken this opportunity to incorporate guidance on other important legislation where appropriate such as EC Regulation 178/2002 and the working group believes this is beneficial to the intended audience of the Guide.
  • it is intended that the contact list, glossary and templates will be expanded to incorporate more information and any suggestions for additions would be welcomed.

The Working Group is particularly interested in stakeholders’ views on the practicality and appropriateness of the guidance, as well as its usefulness. However, it should be noted that comments on the nature of the legislation itself cannot be taken into consideration by the Group, as they have no power to change its predetermined content.

Please reply with your comments on the consultation, by e-mail if this is possible, to: Lucy.Aldrich-Smith@bha.org.uk or to the address stated on the heading of this letter. Any written replies should be addressed to: Ms Lucy Aldrich-Smith.

Please note; the presumption is that responses to the consultation will be treated as open and publicly available unless the respondent has indicated to the contrary. In the latter case the comments need, nevertheless, to be made available to the FSA and, in turn, to its Assessment Panel as appropriate.

Click here to download for the Consultation Letter.

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