Are you a new food business or are you waiting for an inspection so you can get your Food Hygiene Rating?
This rating can let your customers know that you are doing things right and give them assurance that they can eat safely with you. Also it can give you a competitive advantage over other food businesses who may have a lower rating.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS)
Your FHRS rating is displayed publicly on the Food Standard Agency website https://ratings.food.gov.uk/ .You can display your sticker on your premises ( in England this is not mandatory but you are encouraged to do this).
In England the FHRS scheme awards businesses ‘one of six ratings on a numerical scale from ‘5’ (very good hygiene standards) at the top to ‘0’ (urgent improvement required) at the bottom’ (FSA 2020). The inspection is normally carried out by a local authority inspector and has helped to highlight poor compliance. It has also thought to have helped improve standards and contributed to the reduction in food poisoning cases in this country.
How has Covid 19 impacted food hygiene inspections?
Since lockdown in March food hygiene inspections have been temporarily suspended by the Food Standards Agency and Local Authorities. However food safety officers have been busy visiting high risk businesses and dealing with Covid 19 outbreaks at manufacturing factories. They have also been investigating food poisoning etc. and assisting businesses with their risk assessments .
Some local authorities have been doing virtual inspections in place of the traditional unannounced face to face inspections. This is to help businesses to continue trading during the epidemic and to avoid wherever possible face to face contact.
How businesses have changed during Covid 19?
The majority of food businesses had to close during the epidemic apart from takeaways. Many companies changed their operation from a sit down restaurant to offer takeaway so they could continue trading. Recently restaurants and other food businesses have been allowed to open as long as they are Covid 19 secure.
This involves conducting a risk assessment to make sure their staff, customers and visitors, such as delivery drivers, remain safe whilst at work https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/restaurants-offering-takeaway-or-delivery
Some businesses have not reopened as they feel they can not do safely, for example having a very small kitchen. However new businesses are starting up all the time and some businesses are re opening once they feel they have the Covid 19 controls in place to keep their customers safe.
Covid 19 Risk Assessment
I have put together a risk assessment to help food businesses get Covid 19 secure which you can download https://mailchi.mp/9a6f452be75c/covid-19-risk-assessment.
I also offer a free 15 minute virtual chat to see how I can help food businesses by getting in touch via my website https://www.foodsafetylogic.co.uk/contact-us/
What is a food safety health check?
This is a one off audit which will give you a comparable food hygiene rating score. It can also highlight areas where things are going wrong and recommendations for improvement which could affect your food hygiene score.
The audit will be carried out by a qualified and experienced Environmental health Practitioner. It can be carried out virtually https://www.foodsafetylogic.co.uk/about-us/auditing/ or in person. See my blog for more information on virtual visits and how they could help your food business. https://www.foodsafetylogic.co.uk/how-virtual-chats-or-visits-can-help-your-food-business/
Please contact me if you would like a pre inspection visit to check you are on track, either as a new or existing business. Or need advice on improving your FHRS score prior to local authority inspections starting up again in the near future https://www.foodsafetylogic.co.uk/contact-us/