How to keep your restaurant and staff in line with the new H&S regulations
Three out of five restaurants in the UK admitted putting false information in their health and safety, food safety and fire safety books in order to pass inspections, according to a survey by Shieldyourself food safety and health and safety consultancy.
The research also revealed that in 65 per cent of restaurants surveyed, only one or two employees were aware of their legal requirement and correct workplace procedures.
Mark Flanagan, Managing Director of Shieldyourself, said, "Most cases of food poisoning and health safety happen when the key individual is out of the business… All members of staff should be fully trained to ensure that, in any situation, they are fully equipped to deal with potential food safety issues, therefore not putting the rest of the team and customers at risk."
Flanagan added that all restaurant kitchens are legally obliged to have a "documented food safety management system based around HACCP" but said, "Many people mistakenly believe that keeping temperature records is enough."
A change in the law last year has meant there is now less emphasis on just checking fridge and freezer temperatures and staff should ensure that they also record where they get ingredients from and how they are stored, describe safety systems, describe and identify potential hazards and document how they dealt with any situations.
Shieldyourself has produced a Manager's and Head Chef's diary to guide staff through the necessary daily health and safety checks.
Flanagan offers the following tips:
- Look at and record the corrective action taken when something goes wrong. Inspectors want to see you demonstrate why something went wrong and what you did about it, which helps you to build up due diligence.
- Ensure that as many of your staff as possible are trained to deal with any safety issues that might arise in your restaurant.
- Be afraid to be honest when filing the health and safety information.
- Forget to update your existing food preparation policies in order to make sure that you are offering maximum protection to anyone eating or drinking on the premises.
- Be tempted to lie about what's taken place in your report.
- Assume that if something has been resolved you don't have to mention it. You still need to record what happened.
- Forget to keep a daily record of what has been going on in the business.