Food Hygiene Ratings
For the second of our
#SimplySafeSeptember blogs we’re going to take a look at food hygiene ratings and how they can help your business thrive.
The food hygiene ratings system allows customers to make an informed choice on where they eat, based on the food hygiene ratings. The beauty of this system is that food businesses which are not up to scratch have nowhere to hide. The information is public for all to see and bad practices can no longer be kept behind closed doors, especially in these days of social media. There is nowhere for a food business to hide if they are given a failing score.
There is good and bad practice everywhere and, just because a restaurant/hotel is a first class/five star brand does not necessarily mean that you will find top notch food safety in the kitchen. Yes the two usually go hand in hand but it isn’t always the case; we have seen for ourselves five star premises with unsafe practices and poor standards. On the other hand we’ve also found many premises that people may perceive as having lower standards. The local greasy spoon cafe can be extremely diligent with scrupulous standards. When it comes to food safety you just can’t judge a book by its cover!
The other thing to remember when it comes to food hygiene ratings is that large, prestigious companies can have robust systems in place but they are only as good as their weakest link. If standards unravel at local level then this can expose both customers and the brand. One reason why regular external audits are so important is that we can help identify any weak links and support a company promptly, to ensure they will reach the highest food hygiene ratings when inspectors come to call.
As well as helping consumers to choose where to eat, food hygiene ratings can also help protect your reputation. Recently we saw a restaurant in Lancashire fight back after claims that a mouse was found in a meal. The restaurant had consistently held a maximum 5* rating since 2012, when the national rating scheme was introduced. Investigations carried out after the allegation was made showed that it was unlikely the mouse could have been in the dish during preparation, cooking or service. No restaurant wants to be on the end of a claim like this, whether it turns out to be legitimate or not, but by showing evidence of their commitment to food safety and compliance with all legislation and best practice that comes with a 5* food hygiene ratings, the business was able to limit the damage to their business and keep consumers confidence.
There are three fundamental areas that an EHO will look at during an inspection: Confidence in management including food safety management systems, record keeping and general attitude to food safety Structural condition of your operation including cleaning, maintenance of building and equipment Hygiene standards including cross contamination control, personal hygiene standards and temperature control
Getting these right means your business should have little trouble in achieving, and maintaining, the highest 5* food hygiene ratings.
Simply Safe and Simply Safe Enhanced provide you with the guidance, support and tools needed to reach a food hygiene rating you can be proud of. Additionally, Simply Safe Enhanced goes one step further and provides you with:
Employment law advice and support Attendance Pro our absence management software Fire risk assessments (and template risk assessments) Health and safety audit and support E-learning Employee benefits
For more information about Simply Safe and Simply Safe Enhanced, call our team today on
. 08450 50 40 60