How to maximise your food hygiene rating
Many of you will be aware of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, which is being rolled out by more and more local authorities throughout England, Wales, Northern Ireland in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.? When inspected by a local authority environmental health practitioner, each food business is given a rating of 0-5, 5 is very good, 0 means urgent action required.? A similar scheme also operates in Scotland.
With your reputation at stake, you will understandably be keen to maximise the rating given to your food premise(s), especially as this information is in the public domain.
The three criteria which your EHO will be assessing are hygiene (includes practices) structure (includes cleanliness) and confidence in management.
STS share with you five tips for securing favorable results from EHO inspections and to maximise your Food Hygiene Rating:
- An effective documented food safety management system based on HACCP is a fundamental requirement that will affect your rating. Make sure your system is up to date and comprehensive.? If you are a small business you may use Safer Food Better Business Food, otherwise it is advisable to have a more robust system.? Make sure your managers are aware of relevant requirements of your system and that they are implemented as part of your routines.
- Make sure your staff are trained up to date, to the correct level, and they are on the ball with key aspects of your HACCP e.g. critical temperatures. Staff meetings are a great opportunity to refresh knowledge. Supervise and observe staff to make sure correct procedures and practices are being followed, and if not take action.
- Well organised filing system for food safety related documentation is a must.? Make sure all duty managers know where to find everything and that all records are accessible and not under lock and key. One business STS work with slid from a rating of 5 to 4 just because the training records were locked away!
- Carry out your own internal checks to make sure your food safety procedures are being followed.? This not only demonstrates management commitment to food safety, but helps you identify problems and put them right.? You may even consider having an external audits which are an effective way to strengthen standards.
- Make sure that you have actioned everything on your last inspection report and make sure the same issues will not arise again, especially legal requirements. The ?confidence in management? score which affects your rating will be partly influenced by how you have responded to previous advise given to you by the EHO.
STS provide a free telephone & email support line for BHA members who require guidance on food safety and health & safety issues.
To find out more visit www.sts-solutions.com