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Catering Startups: Health & Safety Rules & Regulations
Following the ongoing British love affair with all things food related there are a large number of new catering companies starting up in the UK. Before these firms can begin to trade, though, it is important they understand hygiene and health and safety regulations – as detailed below.
Protecting you and your products
Hygiene is one of the most important aspects of the catering industry and protecting yourself and your food can be achieved by wearing disposable gloves as supplied by Brosch Direct. The cross contamination of raw meats and fish to cooked foods is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Ensuring that this does not happen should be one of the first steps you take when setting up a food outlet.
Registering your business
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) gives a full checklist for starting a catering company. The codes of practice for food outlets were updated on the 7th April 2015 and the main changes included revised arrangements for the registration and inspection for mobile food establishments. Before you start trading it’s important that you and your staff are aware of the basic regulations. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website covers all aspects of the requirements needed to set up and run a business.
The management of risk assessment is mainly based on common sense, but this is not always as easy as it seems. You are not only trying to protect yourself and your staff, but also your customers. These standards will have to satisfy any inspections you may receive and also your insurance company. Many of the measures you’ll need to take will simply be cleaning up spillages as soon as they happen, or ensuring that items are not left lying around. You cannot remove all risks, but you can reduce the possibility of an accident.
Keeping your premises clean and free from pests is not only a part of the health and safety regulations, but also a necessity. Vermin can carry dangerous bacteria and employing a pest controller will prevent the possibility of this ever happening. Cleaning all surfaces as you go will prevent grease build up and also stop any cross contamination.
Keep your staff informed
The safety of your kitchen can be made easier by using the correct labelling on containers and also by having the correct signage in place. Displaying fire exits and the presence of fire extinguishers will all help if the worst happens in your catering outlet. The appropriate emergency procedures in case of a gas leak or fire should be tested on a regular basis to make sure that everyone understands their role should anything go wrong.
Keeping food at the right temperature can mean the difference between good food and bad. Fridges should always be set at approximately 4 degrees centigrade and freezers should be at -18 centigrade. It is also important to make sure that hot food is also kept at the right temperature, especially if kept under warming lights. These will be tested if you get a visit from your local inspector.