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Positive Activities for Young People Team Leader, Luton Borough Council
Food Safety Consultancy
Q&A on how 5 Stars can become 1 Star in the blink of an eye.
How could this happen?
Staff are unable to show food inspector their Food Safety Management System (FSMS) because the manager/owner who deals with it is out.
The inspector will award 1 Star (subject to everything else being OK) because there is no food safety management system in place.
Could I show them my FSMS at a later date?
Even if a written food safety management system turns up later the inspector will claim their action was justified since any food staff left in charge of a food business should be familiar with the FSMS, it is a living document not just a paper exercise & should be constantly questioned by all staff involved in food preparation.
So what will happen?
A rating of 1 will be published on the FSA web site – with the comment ‘Major Improvement Needed’.
Is That Legal?
Yes – Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 applies, a food business must have a written FSMS and the competent authority can require a Food Business Operator to provide evidence of compliance in the manner they require. So if a competent authority wants a written FSMS to be kept readily available for inspection on demand they can ask for this.
Can I appeal?
Yes – But it is to the inspector and that inspector’s line manager, they are judge and jury.
If I make sure the FSMS is readily accessible at all times will I be OK?
Not necessarily, if the FSMS has not been filled in correctly or records are not up to date, you risk not only losing your 5 stars but being awarded just 1 star.
But that’s not fair, if everything else is OK
True, the food rating system is based on a code of practice published nearly twenty years ago; it was originally used for meat inspection with no thought of it being adopted for other types of food business. The system throws up many anomalies, for example two premises can score the same overall score but have a rating of anything from 2 to 4. But most importantly, up to 20 marks are awarded for the inspector’s confidence in management, if the FSMS is not present or has been poorly maintained then that is twenty marks lost.
But I hate paperwork
It is important not only to get the practices right but also the paperwork if you wish to be able to proudly display a 5 star award. It is essential the business’s culture is not just based on pride from producing the highest quality food and service but also on being able to professional demonstrate the care taken over customer safety through active use of a FSMS and accurate records.
Is there help out there to reduce the likelihood of this happening?
Yes, RSA Environmental Health employ experienced inspectors who have rated hundreds of business for food safety. You can call on these consultants to identify your weakness and offer solutions. Telephone Carol or Kae 0n 01933 626444 to book an appointment.
RSA Food Safety Consultancy services include:
The benefits of using a Food Safety Consultant from RSA include:
- Improvement in standards of cleanliness, food hygiene and safety
- Peace of mind knowing that you are compliant with Food safety legislation
- Development of a food safety culture from all employees pulling in the same direction
- Well trained and competent staff means less management and supervision is required
- Less food wastage and problems with food pests
- Reduction in complaints
- Less risk of giving people food poisoning
- Higher star ratings from the Local Authority inspections
- Having a “Due-Diligence” defence should the need arise
For a full description of the services we offer to help you achieve the standards that you require, contact us now or speak to our friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Why use RSA for Food Safety?
RSA Food Safety has been operating since 1997, providing food safety advice to businesses of all types and sizes, from large hotels to small coffee shops and from food manufacturers to cruise ships. We are experienced across all sectors. We only use fully qualified and experienced Environmental Health Practitioners and Food Safety Consultants to provide you with the best advice available. In addition, because our services are tailored to exactly match what you require, we ensure that we are as cost-effective as possible.
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