Labelling of Genetically Modified (GM) Foods
Under the Genetically Modified Food (England) Regulations 2004, food retailers and caterers must inform their customers which foods, if any, contain or are produced from genetically modified organisms.
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.
'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.
Allergens 'May Contain' Labelling
Make sure you are taking the necessary steps to provide thorough and accurate information on ‘may contain’ labelling for allergens.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Gluten Labelling Rules
The way gluten is labelled in the UK has now changed. 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. By 20 February 2018, food businesses are expected to bring their menus into compliance. To find out more, click below.
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.
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.
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.
Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a mandatory scheme which requires large businesses, defined as those who employ over 250 people or have an annual turnover of £42.5m and an annual balance sheet in excess of £36.5m, to audit, report and identify where energy savings can be made. If an organisation meets the qualification threshold then they will be required to participate in the scheme even if they don’t have a large energy supply responsibility.
Introduction to 'TEEP'
‘TEEP’ (Technically, Environmentally and Economically Practicable) refers to legislation which came into effect on 1st January 2015 whereby all businesses operating in the UK are required to introduce separate collections of recyclables (paper and card, metals, glass and plastic) when ‘technically, environmentally and economically practical’. TEEP was developed to encourage businesses and homes, if not already doing so, to separate waste streams on-site. This introduction is intended to give you the basics to help keep you compliant and minimise the risk of your business receiving TEEP fines and penalties.
Sustainable Palm Oil Guide
After the amendment of the Government Buying Standard for food and catering in 2012, all food and catering products bought by central Government must meet sustainability requirements by the end of 2015. This amendment now requires the availability of certified palm oil from suppliers. The UK hospitality industry relies heavily on palm oil for ingredients for cooking and cleaning products. For this reason the BHA supports the UK Government goal of achieving 100% sourcing of sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015.