IN LIGHT OF RECENT FOOD SAFETY OFFICER VISITS TO SOME OF OUR CLIENTS’ FOOD BUSINESSES, AND KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR CURRENT PRIORITIES, WE WOULD LIKE TO ADVISE YOU OF WHAT OFFICERS MAY FOCUS ON DURING THEIR NEXT VISIT AND REMIND YOU HOW TO STAY COMPLIANT.
SAMPLING BY OFFICERS
We are aware that there has been an increase in the number of visits from Food Safety Officers to carry out food sampling and swabbing of catering premises. Officers may carry out the following during the visit:
- Take swab samples of ANY area of the premises: This could include any equipment, preparation surfaces, chopping boards, knives or regular touch-points (e.g. fridge handles, taps, light switches or plug socket switches). These can indicate hygiene standards by measuring bacterial content and other indicators.
- Sampling of ready-to-eat pastry products: This includes quiche, savoury pasties, sausage rolls, pies and sweet pastries. The officer will take these products away for testing.
Sampling and swabbing is undertaken to see if the premises is being kept clean and if food is safe to eat; it is a routine function to check compliance. It is important to not prevent a food safety officer from carrying it out and allow them to take the samples and swabs. To prevent getting unsatisfactory results, we recommend you continue to implement good cleaning standards and that food is stored in accordance with manufacturers instruction or, once made, it is used within 3 days.
ACTION TO TAKE
- Ensure all surfaces and equipment are cleaned and disinfected thoroughly throughout the day.
- Ensure staff know and adhere to the correct dilution rate and contact time of the sanitiser.
- Don’t forget to regularly change equipment e.g. chopping boards, knives and clothes that are used throughout the day and ensure its stored correctly. Raw and RTE boards and utensils should be stored separately.
- Containers used for food service should be checked and dried before they are stored.
- Ensure dishwashers are working at 82C.
- Ensure staff are washing their hands thoroughly and regularly during the day and have a supply of soap and hand drying materials. Gloves where used, should be changed regularly in line with the company policy.
- Ensure food is stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If refrigeration is required ensure they are stored below 8C and are not out of temperature control for more than 4 hours. If they are being held hot, ensure the temperature is above 63C and they are not out of temperature control for more than 2 hours.
- Ensure food products are not stored past their use by date.
- If a food safety officer visits, please record it under the ‘enforcement officer visit’ module on Safety Cloud.
PLEASE NOTE: Environmental Health Officers have legal powers to enter your premises and carry out food hygiene inspections and sampling visits at any reasonable time (your normal business hours). This means they still visit you over the Christmas period and you need to allow them to inspect where they need to.
If you have any questions or queries, please do not be afraid to raise this with your Manager, or Southalls for further information.