Food Safety Logic Blog / Knowledge Hub

Here you’ll find useful information, news items and articles relating to Food Safety.

Face coverings and wearing of gloves in food businesses explained

What is a face covering?

A face covering is not the same as a face mask. It is not classified as Personal Protective Equipment in health and safety terms which protect the user against hazards or risks, for example in medical settings by nurses and doctors.

‘In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth.’ (Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own. www.gov.uk 31 July 2020)

The wearing of a face covering has been introduced to protect other people around you from Covid 19. This is because many people are ‘asymptomatic’ or have no symptoms. It is important to remember that Covid 19 is a respiratory disease so can be passed on by talking, coughing, laughing etc. and a face covering which covers the mouth and nose can help reduce the transmission of the infection to others.

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Allergen labelling for Pre-Packed for Direct Sale food explained

In one of my first blogs I promised an update on the allergen guidance relating to pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) food  once it was made available. https://www.foodsafetylogic.co.uk/new-allergen-rules/

The new technical guidance FSA Food Allergen Labelling Guidance was published in June 2020. This explains the requirements for the allergen labelling of food following update of the Regulations (2019).

This is often referred  to as ‘Natasha’s Law’ following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in 2016. She ate a sandwich that contained sesame seeds that she was allergic to and suffered a fatal reaction. At the time sandwiches pre-packed for direct sale did not require full labelling of the allergens they contained.

Please note the existing requirements for loose/non pre-packed and packed food remain the same and further information can be found in the FSA Food Allergen Labelling Guidance (following the link above)

What is Pre-Packed for Direct Sale Food (PPDS)?

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FAQs on Covid-19 Risk Assessments for your food business

Food businesses and risk assessments

Following writing my first blog on putting together a  risk assessment to help catering businesses to re open safely after Covid-19 business closures https://www.foodsafetylogic.co.uk/covid-19-risk-assessment-for-catering-businesses-explained/. I have been working with food businesses to help them get Covid 19 ready and would like to share some of what I have learnt along the way:

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What happens on a Food Safety Logic consultancy visit?

Consultancy fears and concerns

Have you been receiving my top tips and tricks to help you with food safety, downloaded all the great free stuff that I put out there on social media and my website to help you with food safety issues that are stopping you getting on with the day job, but you still feel that you need more?

This is often  the point where food businesses want help but become nervous about bringing in a third party or consultant, and here’s why?

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My experience as an Environmental Health Practitioner during Covid-19

A bit of background

I have been working as an Environmental Health Practitioner (EHP) for the last 10 years. I am what they call a ‘generalist’ in that I didn’t specialise after qualifying so it’s like being a ‘jack of all trades’. I work in health and safety, food safety, nuisance and public health including infectious disease doing proactive work such as advising businesses and routine food inspections. I even appeared on Channel 5’s ‘Filthy Britain’ as a food inspector ‘doing my bit to clean up Britain’.
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Covid 19 Risk Assessment for catering businesses explained

Catering premises have now had the green light to re open from 4th July 2020 but need to make sure they have done a risk assessment. Business owners who have never written a risk assessment may be struggling to get started but be reassured it is quite simple to do. This is because you and your staff know your business inside and out and will know where things could go wrong.

Why? ‘ It’s your duty…’

By law you have to keep your customers and staff safe whilst they are at your work place under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Each and every work place is different so you need to look at what could make your customers and staff ill or cause them injury (harm). Then what you can reasonably do to prevent this happening  (mitigation or control measures). This is your risk assessment.

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Top tips for reopening your catering business after Covid 19 closure

Any restaurant, café or caterer that is not offering a take away or delivery service will hopefully be able to re open early July 2020. This is following the compulsory business closures under the Coronavirus Regulations. Sadly there will have been a lot of casualties and many  businesses will have been forced to closed. However others will now be chomping at the bit to re open as soon as possible, to recoup some much needed business and income,following the months of forced closure.

There is a huge amount of advice and information available in government guidance documents and best practice from consultants and trade bodies to help caterers reopen after closure. However if you are planning on re opening and don’t know where to begin here are my top 10 tips to get you started:

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Top food safety tips on changing your food business to takeaway or delivery during Covid 19

If you own or manage a cafe/restaurant/pub until a few months ago your place was probably buzzing with customers. Due to Covid 19 business closures the doors may now be shut and the car park empty until the magic re opening date is announced. You may have thought about doing takeaway or deliveries but not taken the plunge. Or you may be doing this but just need some advice to check you are doing things properly.

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Knowing your learning style could help you in food hygiene training courses

What is your learning style?

Most people do not have one learning style but usually a combination of styles. But, knowing which style you might be leaning towards might help you to choose how you learn whether choosing an online or face to face food hygiene course or a particular trainer.

‘I just don’t know why they don’t like me?’

I did not get on very well with my teachers at school, particularly my French teacher. There always seemed to be a problem, they did not explain things properly, went too fast, it was boring etc. etc. In fact, my most used phrase when referring to school was simply ‘I just don’t know why they don’t like me?’.

You may think I was a paranoid teenager, but my French teacher simply had a vendetta against me as a person, or at least that is what I thought. I remember how I spent nearly all my free periods and break times during my senior years. Stood outside the teacher’s common room reciting French verbs in different tenses getting very frustrated.

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Why do we teach personal and food hygiene?

Now please wash your hands

Most people practice basic food and personal hygiene many times a day without even thinking about it, whether at home or at work, including:

    • putting milk in the fridge after making a coffee,
    • using a separate chopping board for cutting up chicken for a stir fry,and
    • washing our hands before starting to make lunch

But there is a reason why we do these things, and it is very simple, to stop making ourselves or others ill. So if it is basic common sense then why do we need a training course to tell us how to do it if we work in a food business?

 

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