Food hygiene blog
In accordance with article 9 of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs, the European Natural Sausage Casings Association (ENSCA) welcomes the opportunity to issue this voluntary Community Guide to Good Practice for hygiene and the application of the HACCP principles in the production of natural sausage casings.
This document is mainly intended for the European natural sausage casing industry and its aim is to assist in the implementation of the European Hygiene Package and HACCP principles according to the Codex Alimentarius.
Version III, February 2013 / revised Annex V
This Community Guide to Good Practice for hygiene and the application of the HACCP principles in the production of natural sausage casings aims to assist producers to put in place, implement and maintain the safe production of natural sausage casings. It enables the natural sausage casing industry to better understand and comply with the legal requirements that are expressed in the Regulation.
The primary responsibility for safe production rests with the food business operators. Although the Community Guide is a voluntary instrument, producers of natural sausage casings are strongly encouraged to use this Community Guide in developing and maintaining their company-specific food safety management system. If Member States and/or operators have implemented higher standards and are applying them, this Community Guide should never be used to lower the level of these standards. Community guides are subject to periodical review.
For the purpose of this guide, the production process of natural sausage casings was considered from the moment the intestines enter the cleaning process at the slaughterhouse until the natural sausage casings are dispatched to the sausage producers. Therefore, this Community Guide applies to food business operators in different types of establishments, including slaughterhouses and those carrying out sorting operations and distribution centres within the natural sausage casing industry.
Full details of HACCP guidelines for natural sausage skins click on this link
HACCP Training Courses
Do you need HACCP training? Kitchen Tonic provides HACCP training at open to public courses and in-house training (we come to you). You can kick start your HACCP training at level 2 or go for a bespoke basic HACCP training course. Please be cognisant that it is best to have attended a minimum level 2 food hygiene training course before taking a HACCP course.
Call us on: 020 3371 1516 for a free quote or enquire further about our HACCP training.
Over a seven month period in 2010, 1,662 samples were collected from 153 events by Local Authority sampling officers and tested by the HPA for a range of bacteria including Enterobacteriacae, E.coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
The events where samples were taken included 50 concerts or music festivals, 20 sports events, 39 carnivals, fetes and fairs and 44 ‘other’ events of a type not stated.
Eight per cent of food samples (53/659) were noted as being of an unsatisfactory quality with a further one per cent (seven samples) containing potentially hazardous levels of bacteria including, among others, the presence of Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens. Food poisoning caused by this bacteria most often occurs when food, usually meat, is cooked and then kept warm for several hours before serving.
Of the water samples tested, results revealed that 27 per cent (56/209) contained unacceptable levels of coliform bacteria which can be found in the environment in soil, water and on plants and may also be a sign of faecal contamination. E.coli and/or enterococci bacteria (of faecal origin) were found in 16 samples (eight per cent).
Environmental swabs were taken from chopping boards, food containers, serving counters, utensils, work surfaces and other areas. The study shows that chopping boards had the most unsatisfactory levels of contamination with 60 per cent (84/141) not meeting the required standard. Overall, of 585 swabs from environmental testing 188 (32 per cent) were not of the required standard.
Bacterial levels twenty times what is considered acceptable were found on 56 per cent (97/156) of the cleaning cloths tested. Bacterial contamination is measured in colony forming units with 97 cloths showing the presence of 10,000 colony forming units (cfu) of Enterobacteriacae where the acceptable level is 500 or less. Some cloths also tested positive for E.coli and species of Listeria.
Some events now require vendors to wear a security wristband for the duration of the event as proof of their authorisation to trade. As these are worn permanently it was considered that there may be some risk of cross contamination. Of those tested one fifth (6/33) of wristbands worn by catering staff were contaminated withEnterobacteriacae, E.coli which are all common bacteria found in the human gut and/or Staphylococcus which lives on the skin.
Dr Caroline Willis, a specialist microbiologist at the HPA’s Food, Water and Environment laboratory in Porton Down and one of the authors of the report, said: “Gastrointestinal illnesses are some of the most common problems encountered by people attending festivals and large-scale outdoor events. Various studies have looked at the microbiological standards of food and environments in such locations and although this study showed some improvement in standards of cleanliness there is clearly a lot of room for improvement.
“There are various reasons why hygiene is lower at such events including the volume of customers, use of temporary staff, working in cramped conditions, lack of storage space and difficulties with on-site cleaning. These all combine to lead to greater cross contamination risks which can be increased if levels of personal hygiene are not good.
“Local Environmental Health Departments have done much to improve standards at mobile and outdoor catering premises over recent years but staff need to ensure that both cooking standards and thorough hygiene are rigorously maintained to avoid the risk of people becoming unwell.”
If you are in need of food hygiene training levels 2, 3 or 4 have a look at a list of our courses or call 020 3371 1516. We run open to public courses and provide in house training
Notes to ed. itors
- The report can be found from the HPA website's LG Regulation Reports page.
- E.coli bacteria are only found in the human or animal gut. Contamination with E.coli could have occurred by caterers not washing their hands after using the toilet or by cross-contamination from raw meat that becomes contaminated with faecal material in the abattoir.
- Species of Enterobacter can be found in the environment and are also part of the normal flora in the human intestines. The presence ofEnterobacteriaceae are indicators of poor hygiene but not necessarily of faecal contamination. They may indicate cross-contamination from raw salad ingredients.
- Staphylococci are a group of bacteria which are often found on the skin or inside the nose. They can cause disease if the bacteria enters the body via cuts or medical procedures.
- The Environmental Health officers were asked to collect samples as follows: ready-to-eat foods; a cleaning cloth that had been used in areas where ready-to-eat foods were prepared; and swabs from food contact surfaces including empty, clean food containers used for ready-to-eat food; utensils, chopping boards used for ready-to-eat foods and work surfaces or serving counters. There was also an option to collect a water sample as the customer would receive it or as the caterer would use it from the vendor’s main supply of water; and to take a swab of the outer surface of a food handler’s security wrist band.
- Of the one per cent of food samples that we considered to be potentially injurious to health four had elevated levels of Bacillus species; one had Clostridium perfringens; one tested positive for coagulase-positive staphylococci and the last one tested positive for Salmonella.
- The Health Protection Agency is an independent UK organisation that was set up by the government in 2003 to protect the public from threats to their health from infectious diseases and environmental hazards. On 1 April 2013 the Health Protection Agency will become part of a new organisation called Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health. To find out more, visit our website: http://www.hpa.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @HPAuk or ‘Like’ us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/HealthProtectionAgency [external link].
- For more information please contact the national HPA press office at Colindale on 0208 327 7901 or email email@example.com. Out of hours the duty press officer can be contacted on 0208 200 4400.
Last reviewed: 13 March 2013
Kitchen Tonic is offering you the opportunity to get 10% off our in-house level 2 food safety training at your venue, Book now until the 14th Feb call us and book for food safety training courses to take place at your venue, If you don't have a venue, you can use out venue at our Aldgate headquaters (Max 8 candidates at our Aldgate venue). Training dates available until end March 2013.
The food safety training can take place anytime between now and end March 2013. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Get 10% off these prices
15 delegates £40pp was £75pp
8 up to 14 delegates £45pp was £75pp
5 to 7 delegates £55pp was £75pp
3 to 4 delegates £77pp
Trainer travel fees may apply in addition to the above offer, please ask for details.
All prices include a CIEH course book for each candidate to keep, exam fee and CIEH food safety level 2 certificate on passing, there is no VAT to add. Your food safety certificate is accredited by Ofqual and is valid for 3 years.
Call: 020 3371 1516
Offer ends 14th Feb 2013
This CIEH food safety level 2 training course is suitable for: Chefs, cooks, kitchen assistants, childminders, nannies, care workers, community groups, house keepers and many more.
A deposit or full payment will be required before the training to secure your desired training date.
Training can be split over 2 half days for an additional fee.
Feed back example from a previous client
"I just wanted to send you an email saying ‘thank-you’. Both chefs really enjoyed doing the course with you on Monday. As we both know, these courses can have a tendency to be quite boring, but the feedback that I received from them was nothing close to that. They both felt that you presented the information well and they are very confident on UK Food safety standards."
Kitchen Tonic is currently moving venue. We should be in our new venue by the end of the month (September).
If you are looking for our open to public courses previously advertised for Sept and Oct, don't worry they will be announced soon. The dates of those courses have had to be postponed due to relocating.
There are only 2 courses open to the public that we have committed to this month and they are:
Level 2 nutrition course: Healthier foods and special diets 20th Sept.
Level 2 food safety course in catering 24th Sept
Both of these CIEH courses are held in Aldgate, London.
Course dates will be announced soon, please keep checking back.
Fish parasites are mainly a problem in certain species of wild fish and can cause illness in humans if eaten. All fishery products must be inspected to remove visible parasites before being sold. Cooking will kill them, but freezing kills any parasites that may remain undetected in fish products intended to be consumed raw or almost raw.
After research commissioned by the Food Standards Agency in Scotland showed there is a negligible risk of parasites from farmed salmon, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reviewed the available evidence on the presence of parasites in wild and farmed fish.
Following the EFSA review, the European Commission and member states reviewed the hygiene legislation and agreed requirements in December 2011, which allow a risk-based approach to be taken when applying the freezing requirements for fishery products. These requirements are being implemented in all UK countries from today.
Linden Jack, Head of the Food Hygiene Policy Branch of the FSA said: ‘The relaxation of these rules is good news for responsible fish producers who are making every effort to minimise the risk of parasites in fish. It will mean less of a regulatory burden on their business, without compromising consumer safety.
‘The FSA’s research into this issue played an important part in the review of the controls. It is further evidence of our commitment to apply the most proportionate risk controls on food businesses based on the best science.’
Read the opinion of the efsa
As parts of the UK finally welcome some warmer weather, the Food Standards Agency is reminding people to take extra care with their food as temperatures rise.
Bob Martin, food safety expert at the FSA, said: ‘Most of us enjoy barbecues and in this country we don’t often get the weather to enjoy them. If you’re planning a barbecue, don’t let food poisoning bugs ruin it for you. There are some really easy steps you can take to avoid being one of the thousands of people who get food poisoning every year.’
Safer eating tips
- Always make sure you cook chicken, pork, burgers, sausages and kebabs until they're steaming hot all the way through. None of the meat should still be pink and any juices should run clear.
- If you're barbecuing for lots of people, cook the meat or poultry in the oven and then finish it off on the barbecue for flavour.
- If you reheat food on the barbecue, make sure it's steaming hot all the way through before serving.
- Marinate meat and poultry in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. Don’t re-use the marinade, or pour over cooked meat, unless it’s also been thoroughly cooked first.
- Raw meat and poultry can contain bacteria that cause food poisoning. To avoid cross-contamination, keep these separate from cooked meats and other ready-to-eat foods like salads and desserts. Never use the same utensils or chopping boards for both.
- Always keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot, to stop bacteria multiplying. Don’t leave food that you would store refrigerated standing around in the warm.
NHS Choices BBQ food safety information
Eatwell Scotland BBQ safety information
Source: The Food Standards Agency
This national scheme was introduced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Following inspections by local council food safety officers, the hygiene standards are rated on a scale ranging from 0 at the bottom (which means ‘urgent improvement necessary’) to a top rating of 5 (‘very good’).
Jeff Rooker, Chair of the FSA, said: ‘I am pleased that most of the London boroughs are joining the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, especially with the influx of visitors for the start of the Games later this month. People living, working or holidaying in London will be able to use the scheme in the knowledge that the same standards have been used to judge food hygiene in all the boroughs and across the country. Telling consumers about hygiene standards in food outlets gives them greater choice and the power to vote with their feet – they are able to choose to eat at the places with the highest standards and avoid those that don’t meet the grade.’
Does your favourite restaurant, takeaway or food shop have good hygiene standards?
When you eat out or shop for food, look for a sticker like the one below, showing you the food hygiene rating for that business. You might find it displayed in the window, on the door, or as a certificate. You can also search for ratings at food.gov.uk/ratings.
Need to train your staff in food hygiehe, have a look at the varioius food hygiene training courses we provide. See them cheaper in central London, tell us and we will match the price. T&C's apply
If you need help in improving your food hygiene rating score call us. We have help restaurants and catering businesses improve there scores from 0 to 5, from 2 to 4 and from 3 to 5. Prices dependant on business.
Tel: 020 3371 1516
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CIEH London along with Alehm, the GLA and other interested parties has been working on a Healthier Catering Commitment for London since autumn 2010. The Commitment pilot was launched formally on 14 March 2012.
Healthier Catering Commitment is a voluntary scheme for food outlets in London based on the principle that small changes can make a big difference. The scheme is being piloted across twenty Boroughs in London by catering businesses in partnership with environmental health and public health teams. Please see below for details of the scheme.
Most catering businesses are eligible to take part in the scheme provided they are broadly compliant for food hygiene. The pilot has been initially aimed at those in the fast food sector. Successful businesses have to show they have taken steps to make their food healthier to receive a Healthier Catering Commitment certificate and door sticker.
Kitchen Tonic can help your food business with this commitment. We offer a range of food safety courses up to level 4 advanced CIEH courses.
We also run the ever popular level 2 nutrition award CIEH Healthier Food and Special Diets. This course covers issues relating to lowering salt in cooking, choosing better fats for cooking and increasing fibre.
The level 2 nutrition course covers:
Understanding of nutrition terminology e.g. what is a complex carbohydrate, what is soluble fibre and non heam iron?
Diet and health: how excess food or wrong choices can lead to obesity and lead to heart disease.
Nutritional requirements of different groups: pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, older people, vegetarians & vegans, slimmers, ethnic and religious groups, people with diabeties, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Catering for other special dietary requirements, including allergy, lactose intolerance and coeliac disease.
Catering for different groups including the elderly in residential care homes and young children at nursery.
Food processing, looking at the effects that processesing has on the nutritional content of food:
Food labelling, understand the importance of accurate nutritional information
This course is taught by our nutritionist who previously worked in the NHS as a registered dietitian.
Call us on 020 3371 1516 to discuss your requirements
All scheme documents relating to this commitment can be found here on the CIEH website
The Food Standards Agency, in partnership with local authorities, is introducing the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Food Hygiene Information scheme in Scotland. The schemes help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, cafés, takeaways, hotels and food shops.
The schemes also encourage businesses to improve hygiene standards. The overarching aim is to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness.
The Agency is working with local authorities to encourage as many of them as possible to run the national schemes, so that consumers can compare hygiene ratings of food businesses in their local area and further away from home.
Each local authority can choose whether it wants to take part or not but numbers are increasing all the time. The scheme is now running in all areas of Wales and in many areas of England and Northern Ireland. Some local authorities are still running their own ‘local schemes’ (these are often referred to as ‘scores on the doors’ schemes). Read more information about these local schemes.
Frequently asked questions about food hygiene ratings
Some questions and answers about the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Food Hygiene Information Scheme in Scotland.
If you would like help bumping up you rating call us and ask about our food hygiene audits. We have helped food businesses increase from 0 stars to 5 stars, 2 stars to 4 stars and 3 stars to 5 stars.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is warning people who may have bought any of three particular brands of reblochon cheese in France to discard them. The French authorities have issued an alert about potential contamination with the bacteria that causes brucellosis.
The cheeses, sold under the brand names of Le Campagnard, Gaston, and Pernet Mugnier Christian, are being recalled in France following the detection of the bacteria Brucella in the unpasteurised milk used to make them.
They were sold from February to April 2012 in 450g packs. The affected cheeses were not supplied to any businesses in the UK. However, the FSA is warning people who may have travelled to France and bought the products there, not to consume them.
If you have already eaten any of these cheeses and feel unwell, you should seek medical attention, and tell your doctor what you have eaten. No other raw milk cheeses, apart from those named, are implicated in this warning.
The science behind the story
Brucellosis is a disease that usually affects livestock, including cattle. Infection of humans occurs through contact with infected animals or consuming unpasteurised (raw) milk or dairy products.
Brucellosis in humans is very rare in the UK, with most cases acquired abroad. Symptoms in humans vary. Some people experience no symptoms, or only a mild flu-like illness, while others experience chronic fever, which can recur for several years. Symptoms can occur up to a month after exposure.