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Positive Activities for Young People Team Leader, Luton Borough Council
Food Safety Consultancy
Remedial action notices will be approved before the Olympics
There has for many years been a gap in the enforcement powers available to a food inspector.
Under the current hygiene rules, the food inspector’s enforcement tools include:
• hygiene improvement notices
• hygiene emergency prohibition notices
However, hygiene improvements notices must allow a minimum period of 14 days for the business to take corrective action and a hygiene emergency prohibition notices requires that an imminent risk of injury be demonstrated to a Magistrate before the court will issue a hygiene emergency prohibition order.
Consequently, in those circumstances where corrective action is required immediately but where an imminent risk of injury cannot be easily proved, neither of these powers would be appropriate.
Examples of poor hygiene standards that fall into this gap are:
• a lack of proper cook or chill temperature control, which may place consumers at risk
• cleaning issues
• cross-contamination problems
• insufficient hot water supply
• pest infestation, such as mice
• drainage defect issues
The remedial action notice fills the gap by requiring prompt corrective action to be taken, but without needing the involvement of a court.
To most food business owners the new powers will present no problems because if the food inspector identifies poor cleaning practices or observes a cross contamination issue, it is put right immediately. But where the food business is reluctant to take action voluntarily, it is important that:
• the delays allowed by an improvement notice are avoided, and
• emergency prohibition notices are only used in the most serious cases
• there are appropriate and proportionate powers to ensure prompt corrective action is taken.
Does the introduction of remedial action notices give rise for concern, they shouldn’t, the hygiene improvement notice will remain the notice of choice for repairs and the emergency hygiene prohibition notice will continue to be used where there is an imminent risk to health, i.e. a rat infestation, or all chilling units out of temperature control, foul water backing up out of drainage etc.
In England, we will be able to see what problems these new notices bring, as in the rest of the UK they are being introduced between the 1 April and 1 of May, giving use nearly 3 months feedback before their introduction. RSA will be monitoring this period and will keep you up to date.
Anthony Bowmer, March 2012
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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