Food Safety is a constantly changing beast influenced and driven by new technologies, consumer awareness and trends, the media, emerging food safety risks and legislation.
I have put together my list of 12 food safety trends to watch out for in this coming year which could affect your food business:
- Higher standards for food service platforms e.g. Just Eat and Deliveroo, driven by consumers who want to know that when they order a take-away that their food is made in a clean and safe kitchen. Just Eat now ask for a Food Hygiene score of 3 (satisfactory) or above which is a move in the right direction
- More focus on allergen management – and the risks of cross contamination which can be dangerous for customers with allergies
- The development in labelling of Pre-Packed Food at Direct Point of Sale (PPDS) – powered by a new law from October 2021. Food that is made on the premises then packaged for the customer must have a full ingredients list and allergens emphasised on the label
- More sustainable and recyclable food packaging – driven by the need to reduce waste but must also be food safe
- More awareness of allergens and anaphylaxis – through public campaigns and educating food businesses
- Continued increase in online food safety training– training online is easier to access and is a more flexible way of training staff. However there are questions over whether online training is becoming just a tick box exercise leaving staff without the skills to do their job properly and keep customers safe.
- Development of a reporting system for allergen incidents – as currently there is no formal reporting system for when a customer becomes ill from allergens or ends up in hospital
- Responsibility in Central government for allergens – no department has taken responsibility for allergens yet which could be an barrier in driving change
- The development of food safety culture – to help improve food safety standards through behavioural change
- Development of a central data base for food business registrations – to stop banned food business owners from opening food businesses in other parts of the country
- A licensing system for food businesses – to help make sure that new food business owners know what they are doing and can prove they can produce safe food before they open their doors
- A continued increase in fermented and prebiotic food including kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut which have a low pH keeping nasty bacteria at bay
As a food business you must provide food safe to your customers and an awareness of what is emerging in the industry could help you plan for the future.