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Food hygiene blog

Having doubts about eating out?

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is calling on people to check the food hygiene ratings of restaurants before booking Christmas meals out with family and friends. A poll released today found that almost half of the UK public (46%) never check food hygiene ratings of places they plan to eat in.


This is despite 34% of people reporting that they had a bad experience when eating out and suspecting they contracted food poisoning from a restaurant or takeaway.

The findings of the FSA poll released this week show one in five people (20%) plan to book their festive meals over the next fortnight.

Over half (51%) say they will be responsible for booking a meal for family and friends this Christmas, with meal planners’ biggest worries being that the food won’t be enjoyable (25%). However, only 3% of people reported that restaurants’ food hygiene standards were their main concern.

Catriona Stewart Head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme, said: 'Nobody wants the embarrassment of booking a Christmas meal that is less than perfect. The people we spoke to through our poll spend a lot of time and effort planning festive meals to make sure their family and friends have a good time, yet very few make food hygiene a top priority.

'We are urging everybody to look before they book if planning that special Christmas meal. It’s quick and easy to check a restaurant’s food hygiene rating online – just go to the FSA website: www.food.gov.uk/ratings. If you’re out and about, you can also check for the green and black ratings sticker on display and if you can’t see one just ask.'

Restaurants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are given a ‘hygiene rating’, which shows how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law. Ratings range from 0 being the worst to 5 being the best.  These results are available on the FSA website but many restaurants also display a green and black ratings sticker in their window or door.

Watch a video about the FHRS click here

For more information or to check the food hygiene rating of your local restaurant, takeaway or café visit: www.food.gov.uk/ratings.

Source: FSA

Are you a food business with a low rating? Would you like help to improve your rating? Kitchen Tonic can provide food safety audits to help you drive up food safety standards. Call 020 3371 1516

Advice on eggs for mums and babies

In the past there has been doubt surrounding egg consumption by pregnant women, babies and the elderly. It was recommended that these groups avoid eating eggs that were not fully cooked because of the small risk of salmonella.

Since the British Lion scheme was introduced in 1998, however, these risks have been effectively eliminated from Lion-marked eggs.

 

The Food Standards Agency has announced a review of the evidence relating to the safety of eggs in the UK early next year and the British Egg Industry Council says that the safety record of British Lion eggs means that vulnerable groups should now be allowed to consume them when runny

- See more at: click here

Time to mobilise the toast soldiers!  Mums are being encouraged to eat eggs when pregnant and to give them to their babies when weaning.  The British Egg Industry Council says that emerging research suggests that eating eggs in pregnancy and weaning is more likely to reduce the risk of the baby developing an egg allergy.

This is great news for egg-lovers of all ages who can now enjoy all the nutritional benefits that eggs can bring. 

 

Eggs for mums and babies

Evidence is emerging that if women consume eggs when they are pregnant and give them to babies when weaning, their baby may be less likely to have allergic reactions to eggs in the future. Read more about the emerging evidence supporting this in the Journal of Health Visiting found here.

Eggs are one of the most nutritious food items available, and are a perfect part of a healthy diet, delivering essential vitamins, minerals and protein to help maintain good health and to support growth and development. Find out more about egg nutrition.

- See more at: click here

The Success of the Lion Scheme

All British Lion hens are vaccinated to ensure that that their eggs do not contain the salmonella bacteria, effectively eliminating the risks for anyone consuming Lion eggs. The scheme also stipulates the highest standards of hygiene and food safety.

All eggs bearing the Lion mark have been produced in the UK, and the scheme ensures that all steps of their production are fully traceable. For more information on the high standards of safety and hygiene of Lion eggs, please read our British Lion Code of Practice.

Find out more about eggs and allergy

- See more at: click here

Source: Egginfo

 

Eating out at restaurants etc

It's not alway possible to tell if the eggs being served at food businesses are bearing the Lion mark. It's always best to avoid runny eggs when eating out. Lots of food businesses use the Lion marked eggs others use imported eggs, which have recently been implicated in an outbreak of salmonella. Some food businesses do not store their eggs properly or may pool raw eggs pior to cooking. Eggs should be stored in a refrigeration in their box after purchase. Avoid purchasing eggs from markets and shop windows where they may have been exposed to heat and sunlight

Do you keep egg laying hens at home. Click here for some general safety advice. 

Backyard poultry in Great Britain: General guidance

Due to the increased popularity of backyard poultry keeping, veterinarians may find that they are sometimes asked to examine and treat poultry (frequently chickens) from such flocks. It is therefore important to be aware of and consider some of the common diseases that can affect backyard poultry to aid the investigation and differential diagnosis of bird and flock health problems. Similarly, it is also important to consider legislation and regulations that are relevant to poultry. 

 

The following provides general advice and guidance about keeping backyard poultry in Great Britain (GB). Separate information is also available summarising common health and disease problems of backyard flocks in GB. Similarly, AHVLA guidance and information is also available for gamebird flocks and keepers:

Further information can be found by clicking here

Source: DEFRA

Level 3 Food Safety Refresher Training Offer

Level 3 Award Food Safety Refresher in Catering training

 

Has your level 3 food safety certificate expired? Would you like to refresh your knowledge without having to attend a full 3 day training course again? Kitchen Tonic is running a special offer on refresher training and making it easier for you to refresh your knowledge and gain a CIEH level 3 refresher certificate. 

 

 

If you have a level 3 certificate that has expired within the last 3-5 years, you would be eligible to take a CIEH refresher training course. We accept all Ofqual accredited certificates, which may have been issued by other awarding bodies other than the CIEH e.g. RSPH. If in doubt give us a call. We can't accept proof of on-line e-learning.

This course is set up to make training convenient for you to complete without having to attend a classroom based course.  At the end of the training, you will have take the CIEH accredited refresher exam, which is a 60 question multiple choice paper. 

Kitchen Tonic is offering this course in-house. We can arrange this training for your staff and set up a date for the exam. Please call 020 3371 1516 for details. 

We are also running open to public courses for anyone to attend. The cost for this is £165pp (usually £245pp). If you do not have a CIEH level 3 supervisors course book, you can purchase one from us for £20. 

How does refresher training work? 

Complete a level 3 activity book, this is approx 60 pages.You will have access to the trainer via email while you complete the book, if you have any questions or if you have difficulty completing a question or section. Generally you will be given 2 weeks to complete this book. 

Candidates are encouraged to book the course at least 10 days before the course. When booked on the course, the learning material will be sent to you to complete. 

You will then turn up on the advertised course date, when the trainer will go over your completed activity book, update you on any food safety legislation, complete some revision activities followed by the CIEH exam. 

Level 3 refresher training is available for both catering and manufacturing. 

Or, if you prefer to do the course with a trainer attend our 2 day refresher course £270pp. 

The £165pp offer is valid until 15th Dec 2014 

All candidates will have to provide a copy of their Ofqual accredited certificate, which is submitted to the CIEH and bring along with proof of ID on the day of the exam. 

Call: 020 3371 1516 for more details or to book your refresher training.  

 

Kitchen Tonic is a CIEH registered training centre

Review of the E. coli O157 Control of Cross-Contamination Guidance

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has been revising the E.coli guidance with input from both industry and local authority representatives

 

The revised guidance takes account of the views of industry and local authority stakeholders, and the results from independent research on the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfecting complex equipment between uses. The revised guidance provides greater flexibility for businesses on how they may manage food safety risks, subject to their assessment of the particular risks relating to their business and subsequent assessment by the relevant local authority. 


The revised guidance clarifies that:

  • Businesses do not need to have separate areas for handling raw and ready to eat foods (RTE) where they can demonstrate that separation by time with effective cleaning and disinfection will manage the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Less complex equipment, such as temperature probes, mixers and weighing scales, may be used for both raw and RTE foods subject to the business being able to demonstrate that such equipment will be effectively cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • It may now be possible to effectively clean and disinfect vacuum packers, slicers and mincers between uses as long as such machines are completely dismantled to allow all surfaces to be thoroughly cleaned. In practice, however, it is unlikely to be practical for a business to regularly change the use of vacuum packers as a competent engineer would need to undertake what is a complicated dismantling and reassembling process. However, cleaning to allow a more permanent change of use, for example to re-commission and buy and sell second-hand vacuum packers, may be feasible. In the case of slicers and mincers, dismantling, cleaning and disinfecting may be more straightforward but is unlikely to be feasible during normal business operations. Businesses wishing to use such machines for raw and RTE foods would need to fully assess the risks and to demonstrate to the relevant local authority that cleaning between uses will provide effective controls.

 

Source FSA

Top Grade Awarded for Quality of Learning and Teaching

Well done to our lead food safety level 2 trainer who achieved level one - outstanding trainer and course review from one of our Adult Education Centres we supply trainers to. 

Here are some of the comments from the assessor.

Key Strengths 

  • Excellent learner participation in all activities
  • Excellent resources
  • Excellent planning and structuring of session
  • Very good matching of varied tasks to meet learning objectives
  • Highly interactive delivery with excellent use of questioning
  • High level of tutor expertise

 

Would you like to hire one of our trainers to train your staff in food hygiene?
Contact us on 020 3371 1516. 
We teach:
Food safety levels 2 to 4
HACCP level 2
Healthier foods and special diets. 

New UK food poisoning figures published

 

The new figures show that: 

There are more than 500,000 cases of food poisoning a year from known pathogens. This figure would more than double if it included food poisoning cases from unknown pathogens. 

 

Campylobacter was the most common foodborne pathogen, with about 280,000 cases every year. 

The next most common pathogen was Clostridium perfringens with 80,000 cases, and norovirus was third with an estimated 74,000 cases. 

Salmonella is the pathogen that causes the most hospital admissions – about 2,500 each year. 

Poultry meat was the food linked to the most cases of food poisoning, with an estimated 244,000 cases every year.

After poultry, produce including vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, caused the second highest number of cases of illness (an estimated 48,000 cases), while beef and lamb were third (an estimated 43,000 cases).

 

More information can be found on the Food Standard Agency website

Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013 No. 2996)

 

Food safety legislation places an obligation on food business operators to ensure that all their activities are carried out in a hygienic way. It makes it an offence to supply food which is unsafe or harmful to human health. 

The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 – SI 2013 No. 2996 - came into effect on 31 December 2013. These Regulations revoke and re-enact the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 and its amendments and certain provisions of the General Food Regulations 2004 as they apply in England, consolidating all of these into one statutory instrument. 

 

Local authorities in England will need to ensure that enforcement actions such as letters, notices and summons reference the new legislation.

A new offence has been created (see regulation 37(3)) in order to provide the necessary provisions to enforce the import requirements of Regulation (EU) No 211/2013 in relation to sprouts and seeds intended for sprouting. This has required an additional provision being added to SI 2009 No. 3255 after paragraph (1) of regulation 41 as paragraph (1A).

Exam results

Appeals policy

Whenever learners are assessed they should be given clear guidance on the assessment method. You are provided with assessment guidance on our website and you will also find it on the pre course information forms sent to you before the course. If you have been placed on a course by your company, your course organiser will have been sent this information which should forwarded to you before the course. If you have booked yourself on a course, the information will have been sent to you directly. Please ensure to complete and return the pre course questionnaire before your course, so we are aware of any learning needs you may have. We may then contact you depending on information you provide on this form.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to notify the trainer at the earliest opportunity, if there are any circumstances which may affect your examination performance. Kitchen Tonic will then bring this to the attention of the CIEH, who will take it into consideration.

 If you are dissatisfied with your results, you have the right to appeal and request a re-mark. It is the policy of Kitchen Tonic to allow candidates appeal against any results decision or if they feel the assessment procedures were not conducted properly, or that the exam decision is unfair. This applies to all CIEH exams. The CIEH do not provide individual exam marks. You will not know your individual score e.g. 23/30. As a candidates you will only know if you failed; passed, achieved merit or distinction depending on the course exam you took.

There is a CIEH fee for re-marking, but this is fully refunded if your appeal is upheld. You should be aware that the outcome of any re-marking could result in a lower mark being awarded.

Candidates, should in the first instance appeal through Kitchen Tonic. Your appeal should be submitted in writing (email or recorded delivery). You should provide a clear explanation for the basis of your appeal. Please also include your name, address, email, course title and date of exam. When your appeal has been received, Kitchen Tonic will acknowledge you appeal, via email or recorded delivery letter.  Your appeal should be made within five working days of receiving your certificate. Kitchen Tonic will investigate your appeal and report back to you within 28 working days.  Please note, you may be required to attend an informal meeting with the trainer and internal verifier within the 28 day time frame. You will be notified of this and you will be able to bring a relative or friend with you. You should provide the name of the person, their relationship to you and if they are legally qualified or not. You should confirm within 3 days if you are attending and bringing someone with them.

If you are not satisfied with the decision of Kitchen Tonic taken after your appeal, you may submit a further appeal to the CIEH through Kitchen Tonic no later than 14 days after receiving the outcome of your first appeal. Kitchen Tonic will then contact the CIEH to trigger the CIEH appeals procedure on your behalf. This appeal will be considered by the Chief External Examiner, who is an independent arbitrator, and the Examination Services Manager will inform your centre in writing within 28 days of the Chief External Examiner’s decision.

If you are not satisfied with the Chief External Examiner’s decision, you can resubmit the appeal to CIEH through Kitchen Tonic no later than 14 days after receiving the outcome of your last appeal. This appeal will be considered by the CIEH Qualifications Standards Committee, which will include at least one independent professional with no connections to the CIEH. The decision of the CIEH qualifications Standards Committee is final, and no further correspondence will be entered into.

 

Complaints policy

Kitchen Tonic is committed to ensuring that candidates are provided with the best possible information, services and products. In order to fulfil this obligation we continually monitor performance through regular surveys and have a clear complaints and appeals procedure.

However, it is recognised that there may be occasions when service levels do not meet your expectations and you may wish to make a complaint. As the training providers, you should contact us initially with the details of your complaint. All complaints should be submitted in writing or email, providing a clear explanation of the basis of the complaint.

We will fully investigate the complaint and report back to you within 28 days. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, you can contact the CIEH. Please see The Candidates Charter for details. 

 

 

Malpractice policy

Kitchen Tonic is a reputable and respected training organisation and will not allow any malpractice to take place either with trainers, readers, writer’s, interpreter’s or other candidates. Malpractice is any conduct or behaviour which gives unfair advantage to a candidate or disadvantages other candidates.

This could be:

Plagiarism

Mobile phone ringing during the exam

Copying another candidates answers

Gaining unauthorised access to confidential exam papers

Using unauthorised electronic aids such as internet enabled devices, paperwork and or course books under exam conditions.

Impersonating another candidate

Altering of results or certificates

Altering letters confirming attendance of course or results

Not following the exam instructions given before the exam such to stop writing when time is up. 

Asking anyone who may be assisting you with your exam, such as a reader, to help you choose the correct answer.

Writing down exam questions and taking them out of the exam room.

It is the responsibility of the candidates to comply with this policy and the trainer and or invigilator to ensure compliance. It may be necessary for the trainer or invigilator to intercept you during the exam and ask you so stop what you are doing. If you continue after your first warning your exam will be terminated.

All reports of suspected malpractice will be kept on file for 3 years and will be made available to the CIEH.

 

 

Please submit your appeal or complaint to:

The Course Director

Kitchen Tonic

C/o Inteeka

36 Alie Street

London

E1 8DA

Or email: info@kitchentonic.com

 

Updated Oct 2014

CIEH candidate charter

 

The CIEH candidates charter outlines the standards of commitment that can be expected of all CIEH-registered centres, trainers and staff to assist you in your learning.

As part of our commitment to the quality standards of the CIEH and our commitment to you as a learner with us we abide by the terms and conditions of the CIEH Candidate Charter.

The charter includes information on complaints and appeals.This will outline the support you are entitled to and the procedure for candidate enquiries.

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