If you are responsible for preparing or serving food to the public or service users you have a legal duty to make sure that the food is safe to eat. If you get something wrong in the way you cook, store, prepare or serve food you could cause serious illness or even death.
Breaches of food law could result in unlimited fines or even a prison sentence of up to two years. Apart from legal duties we also have a moral responsibility not to cause illness and it is worth considering the financial costs in terms of loss of business or reputation.
Your principal defence in law should something go wrong is ‘due diligence’. Can you prove you have done everything reasonable to ensure you do not cause illness? One of the essential elements of ‘due diligence’ is training. You must show that you and your staff have had adequate training.
For advice on what would be considered an adequate level of training for your business or organisation contract us or your local authority.
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
Highfield awarding body for Compliance
‘E.coli butcher jailed for a year’
‘A butcher has been jailed for a year for food safety offences which led to a fatal E.coli outbreak in 2005’
BBC news 07/10/2007
‘E.coli Probe: Chippy Scored Zero On Hygiene’
‘The fish and chip shop at the centre of a suspected E.coli outbreak was criticised for poor hygiene by inspectors last year.’
Sky News 1/08/09