How To Improve Your Food Safety Rating In The UK?
Every catering business has a goal of achieving a five-star Food Hygiene Rating. In the United Kingdom, the Food Hygiene rating system, also known as scores on the doors, was introduced in UK for the consumer’s food safety and hygiene. That the standard food hygiene within the food premises results in food that is safe from harm. Catering businesses are inspected first then the rating is awarded. And getting a five-star rating is something that any food business owner can be very proud of!
But if you couldn’t manage to achieve a five-star rating, first time round, then following the mentioned tips might help you in improving the hygiene rating for your food business within the United Kingdom. The Environmental Health Officer checks three main elements for awarding your rating which are as follows: How the food is prepared,handled and cooked? The physical condition of the premises and also how the business manages to keep the food safe from harm? So How to improve your Food Safety Rating in the UK?
What does the food hygiene rating mean to consumers?
The hygiene rating has been an important factor for a long time, when deciding where to purchase food from, for a lot of people. In fact since 2010, but with a large increase of food allergies, intolerances and hygienic issues, the hygiene rating has become very important for consumers. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has ensured that the hygiene rating is widely available to the public, via there own website, giving the consumers all the information that they need to know about the hygienic conditions of food businesses, to help them make an informed decision of where they choose to eat. Around 85% of the population are aware of the hygienic conditions of the catering businesses that they went to eat in or to get meals from. Therefore, the hygiene rating is essential for any catering businesses to increase their authenticity and to increase there customer footfall. The FSA provides all the necessary details of all catering outlets at the following link https://ratings.food.gov.uk/
What does each star mean for the food hygiene rating scheme?
The scheme gives businesses a rating from 5 to 0 which is displayed at their premises and online so you can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat from.
5 ⭐ – hygiene standards are very good
4 ⭐ – hygiene standards are good
3 ⭐– hygiene standards are generally satisfactory
2 ⭐ – some improvement is necessary
1 ⭐ – major improvement is necessary
0 ⭐ – urgent improvement is required
How to Achieve a 5 ⭐ hygiene rating?
A catering businesses that wants to attain a five ⭐ rating must look at the elements that need improvement. The inspection authority will check the management and the environment of the premises. So make sure your business serves within a good environment with good management of every practice and procedure in place. The following points might help your business getting a five ⭐.
Ensuring that all staff use good hygienic practices
The staff you appoint to operate in your food business must be hygienic and trained to a level reminsurate to their role. By law all food business operators must ensure that food handlers receive the appropriate supervision and training in food hygiene. If they are not hygienically trained then you must train them first because it is an important step in helping you acquire a five-star rating. Your existing experienced staff can help to teach beginners before they proceed to attain their food hygiene certificate. Necessary points in attaining good hygiene include wearing clean clothing daily which may include headwear and aprons, wearing minimal to no jewelry, no nail polish or perfumes and hand washing regularly and frequently, as and when required.
Safe food storage systems
An important element required for good hygiene is the storage area must be kept clean and tidy. The unwashed ingredients must not be placed with the washed ingredients as the unwashed ingredients could contain germs, bacteria and other contaminations. Freezers and refrigerators must be set at the legally required temperatures and they must be kept clean and tidy at all times. Produce that is stored in the refrigerator must not be kept in storage for a long time as the overall quality may start to deteriorate and will affect your end products. Canned or packed ingredients best before or use by dates must be recorded and used before they expire otherwise dispose of them safely. It is good practice to ensure that good stock rotation is carried out and maintained on a daily basis.
HACCP is the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points, a management system for food inspection by analysis and control of hazards from raw material production, procurement, and handling to manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of the final product. Businesses that follow HACCP rules for food safety and who practice HACCP will give surety that the business is in good hands, which will assist in helping you achieve a five⭐rating. The FSA provides various downloadable forms booklets and packs that you could use within your business to help you dependent on which home nation you are based in:
England: Safer Food Better Business
Wales: Safer Food Better Business
Northern Ireland: Safe Catering
Scotland: Food Hygiene Information Scheme
These free downloads and practical packs can help you achieve the following:
- comply with food hygiene regulations
- show what you need to do to make food safely
- train staff
- protect your business’s reputation
- improve your business
- improve your hygiene rating score
Cross Contamination prevention
Raw foods and unwashed foods have germs and bacteria that can contaminate cooked or clean food. To prevent it from happening, segregate the washed and clean ingredients away from other food. This also applies to raw and cooked products. Take necessary steps while preparing food, have different colour chopping boards for different kinds of food like a vegetable chopping board and a raw meat chopping board must be different and easily identifiable to avoid cross contamination.
Cleanliness is a solution to half of all food-related illnesses and diseases. It is vital to properly check and balance staff and food cleanliness. The appliances, instruments, utensils and the areas where the food is prepared, served, or eaten must be cleaned as and when required. The ovens, freezer, and refrigerators must be cleaned weekly, monthly or as and when required. Antibacterial sprays, sanitisers, and cleaning mops should be available on a readily basis.
An important step for food hygiene and safety is record keeping. Keeping a track record of cleanning and cooking along with record and checking of fridge and freezer temperatures have been proven to be a source of getting a 5-star rating.
Your record documents include:
– delivery records
– cleaning records
– pest control records
– temperature check records (fridge and freezer)
– temperature check records (cooking and chilling)
– staff training records
– food safety and their risk evaluation records
Why it’s necessary to have a five-star rating?
It is vital to attain a 5 ⭐ rating, otherwise it will affect your business. It will lead to
– loss of Customers: If your business gets poor ratings repeatedly, then you might lose your customers. No one would like to buy anything from your business. People don’t eat poor unhygienic food. Would you eat anything that is poor and unhygienic? I certainly wouldn’t!
– health hazards: contaminated food affects the health of the people. Many illnesses occur due to poor hygiene practices and procedures. If you are not providing good quality food then people will become sick and possibly even die, which in turn could lead to bad publicity, fines from the HSE and possibly closure of your business.
– loss of takings: people won’t purchase from your catering outlet. You will become financially weak from constant poor ratings and bad publicity, because people won’t purchase your products.
– frequent inspections: you will get more frequent inspections from the local authorities. Your money and time will be wasted here.
– enforcement action: frequent inspections will result in enforcement actions against the business owners. Legal measures will be taken against you and your business. You will require a large amount of money to defend yourself on legal proceedings and loss of reputation and other financial losses which will occur due to your poor rating.
So I hope I have helped you answer the question: How To Improve Your Food Safety Rating In The UK?
Good food is a basis to provide a good mood. Providing good and best quality products is a feature of a good food business. It will automatically grab the attention of people around. People who have had a nice experience will pass this on to around 5 people they know. However, if they have a bad experience they are likely to tell at least 20 people or even the world via social media, which as you may well know can have a profound effect on a business. Having a five-star rating is important to flourish your catering business. If you want people to love your food and you want to make profits from your business by keeping people happy. Then to attain and maintain your reputation, the above steps must be kept in mind and implemented to achieve and maintain a five-star rating. One point to note is that in Wales and Northern Ireland it is a legal requirement to display your current Food Hygiene Rating, yet in Scotland and England this is not the case but you could be in breach of the Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, as it is illegal to display an incorrect rating trying to mislead consumers into thinking you have a better Food Hygiene Rating than you actually have.
I hope we have managed to answer the question: How to improve your Food Safety Rating in the UK?
If you require any help or advice on how to implement this into your catering business please feel free to contact us where we can assist in helping you to improve your food safety rating and potentially help you achieve a five ⭐ rating! We have over 28 years experience within the catering industry and know best practices inside out!
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