Food, Health and Nutrition

'Look Fishy? Don't Risk it' Campaign

Since the campaign (Look Fishy? Don't Risk it) launched in April 2016 the MMO has worked with representatives of the fishing industry to promote buyers and sellers scheme compliance. They have also encouraged anyone who has suspicions of the illegal sale of fish to report this to Crimestoppers.

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme

This scheme is relevant to all hospitality businesses which buy and sell alcohol. From 1 January 2016 the scheme will only apply to wholesalers. From 1 April 2017, it will also apply to any businesses that sell alcohol directly to consumers and businesses must ensure they only buy alcohol from approved suppliers.

Allergens 'May Contain' Labelling 

Make sure you are taking the necessary steps to provide thorough and accurate information on ‘may contain’ labelling for allergens.

Allergen Toolkit

New Allergen Regulations introduced by the EU say that from December 13th 2014 all UK food service providers will be obliged to accurately track, record and communicate to the public 14 of the most common foods to cause allergic reactions.

To support you, we’ve created a Guidance Toolkit and events designed to assist you in understanding and implementing the new Allergen Regulations and ultimately saving you money and time.  It is available for FREE to all BHA members.

Campylobacter

Food hygiene isn't just for restaurants and caterers; it's an important component in at home cooking. Being mindful of basic food hygiene in your home kitchen will minimise the risk of spreading campylobacter, a natural bacteria that causes around 280,000 cases of food poisoning per year in the UK.

Disinfectants at Risk 

From August 2015, levels of chemicals in food preparation areas will need to be monitored in order to reduce cross-contamination under the EU Biocidal Products Regulation. This means that all caterers will need to examine how they are using chemicals in disinfection to ensure they are not contravening the law by having higher than permitted levels in food.

Electronic Cigarettes 

Electronic cigarettes look similar to regular cigarettes but instead deliver nicotine vapour rather than tobacco smoke. Many people use electronic cigarettes to help them quit smoking all together, while others use e-cigarettes to continue smoking and are able to avoid the cigarette smoke. In this press statement, it is explained how the European Union is updating the Tobacco Product Directive. This update will make it so electronic cigarettes below a certain nicotine threshold can be sold with health warnings. Electronic cigarettes that are above the distinguished threshold will be treated like a medicinal product. This press statement goes into greater detail regarding the legal restrictions, advertising regulations and influence this update will have on the hospitality industry.

Eatwell Guide

On 17 March 2016, Public Health England published an updated version of the Eatwell Plate, now entitled the Eatwell Guide. The revised guide provides current government recommendations on what foods and in what proportions to eat to achieve a balanced, nutritious diet.

Fast Food Outlets Proposed to be Limited

Ufi Ibrahim, the CEO of BHA, responds in this press statement to Labour's announcement on plans proposing new powers for local authorities to limit fast food outlets. Here, Ufi argues that during the complex obesity debates, the fast food industry is too often looked at as a cause because it is the easiest industry to blame and a soft target. Ufi explains that Labour should consider improving health, wellness and nutritional education in primary schools if they want to discourage weight related illness.

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme 

The BHA appreciates the value of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme as a means of encouraging food business operators to improve and maintain high standards. However, several aspects of the scheme have been found to be lacking in fairness and consistency. As such, the BHA would only support a mandatory scheme in England if processes are put in place to help to address such issues.

Green Public Procurement 

GPP is a process, often used by public authorities to procure goods, services and work with a reduced environmental impact. In May 2015, the BHA attended the Food Service Europe General Assembly Meeting to discuss some of the key points relating to GPP.

Government Buying Standards Summary 

Government Buying Standards (GBS) require government buyers to purchase sustainable products and services. Amendments were made in 2012 to strengthen the commitment to buy nutritious and sustainable food produced in the UK, which are to a high standard with systems in place to check authenticity.

Hen Egg Advice

The Food Standards Agency’s Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF)1 has assessed the current level of microbiological risk to consumers (including vulnerable groups) from raw or lightly cooked hen eggs and their products.

Hospitality and Food Service Agreement 

The WRAP Hospitality and Food Service Agreement encourages voluntary targets to minimise food and packaging waste. The BHA supports this agreement and is working with WRAP to get businesses to sign up to take part in this initiative. The hospitality industry has become an increasingly important player in reducing food waste, as hotels, restaurants and catering services have introduced various opportunities to customers to choose how much food they want depending on how hungry they are.

New Gluten Labelling Rules

The way gluten is labelled in the UK will be changing. From 20 July 2016, specific rules on gluten labelling will be governed by the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation rather than in the separate EU 41/2009 Regulation. To be on top of this new rules click on the link below

Nutrition Labeling

The FIC Regulations already require food businesses to provide certain mandatory information including allergy information on food sold, at all stages of the food chain, where their activities concern the provision of food information to consumers. This is a summary of the FIC Regulations that apply to all foods intended for the final consumer, including foods delivered by mass caterers, and foods intended for supply to mass caterers.

Q&A on Medium and Rare Burgers

The BHA is currently looking into ways to help members with ways to cook medium/rare burgers and we are liaising with the Food Standards Agency, EHOs, our Primary Authority, Partners and other Trade Bodies.

Rare Burgers 

Following the increased popularity of burgers served rare, the FSA have considered a range of controls businesses should put in place if serving rare minced burgers. The BHA will be gathering further information from the Food Standards Agency, Westminster Council, our Primary Authority, and businesses already putting safe measures in place to inform members on the best way forward when cooking minced burgers. Until this time, the BHA advises that minced burgers are cooked through thoroughly. Please check back soon.

Sentencing Council Definitive Guideline

The Sentencing Council Guidelines for ‘Health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences’ have now been published. They will have a significant impact on the sentencing of offences when they come into force on 1 February 2016 and will apply to any case heard on or after that date, irrespective of when the offence occurred.

Top tips to reduce acrylamide in your cooking

Acrylamide is a chemical produced naturally when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures, and can therefore most commonly be found in fried foods such as chips. In the EU, Acrylamide is categorised as carcinogenic. While it is impossible to make any definitive conclusions about cancer risk given the uncertainties in exposure, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends that such chemicals be as low as reasonably practicable. The BHA supports businesses to continue to proactively and voluntarily put simple measures in place to minimise the amount of acrylamide in food.

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