One of the best ways to arm yourself and your food business prior to an official food safety audit is to be your own auditor. Thinking like food inspectors and carrying out impromptu audits that highlight errors, training gaps and allow risk analysis and the implementation of better practices should mean that when the real food inspector graces your premises that you and your team can enjoy calm confidence not panic.
- Have you got an HACCP based food management system in operation?
- Is every employees’ food safety training up to date? If the last food safety courses were taken over three years ago they should take a refresher course.
- Has every new member of your team received induction health and safety training?
- If you asked your team how to organise a fridge or how to prevent cross contamination during a task, are you certain that the same response would readily come from each person?
- Does a staff member use processes which they adopted at home in the workplace and do these fall short of legislation?
HACCP food safety courses cost much less than legal action.
A Hazards Analysis Critical Control Points food safety management system is a UK and EU legislation meeting tool. HACCP food safety courses are delivered at staff and management levels.
Food safety courses at level 2 (GCSE equivalent) content:
- The components of HACCP food safety management systems.
- Risk awareness.
- HACCP’s purpose and benefits.
- How to use HACCP.
- HACCP’s seven principles.
- Establishing HACCP food safety management systems.
- Identifying HACCP procedures.
- Hazard recognition.
- Critical control points.
- Corrective actions – at all levels of employment.
- Food hygiene – assessing critical control areas.
- Contamination and its sources.
- Controls to prevent contamination.
- How to reduce/eliminate risks using HACCP.
- How HACCP reduces risks.
- Workplace safety.
- Staff competency.
The paperwork factors
The FACT online management system from Food Alert in London is a leading example of software that will make all areas of food safety auditing and control more rewarding and time efficient.
- Alleged food poisoning cases.
- Training requirements – food safety, HACCP, HSE.
- Supplier documentation.
- EHO activity.
- Personalised safety manuals.
- Risk assessments and forms.
You’ll discover that specialist training companies like Food Alert have audit preparation courses which inform about the audits and what food inspectors are looking for. As an example, a three-hour course will help attendees to:
- Gain understanding of what to do when food inspectors visit your premises.
- Understand the consequences of not providing the required information.
- Understand who needs to be present at the visit and why.
- Be aware who is responsible.
- Identify remedial action and to implement corrections.
These specialists also help with HACCP personalisation, health and safety, induction and management skills training. Many courses are Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Royal Society of Public Health or Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance accredited.
Would you rather be proactive or wait until after an inspection or incident, its potential fines and legal action? Remember, food inspectors mark on what they see, not on the excuses offered.