Business Blog

Clean Up or Close Your Doors

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How dedicated are you and your team to ensuring that your food business’ premises are spotlessly clean? If the answer isn’t that you’re meticulous then you may want to adjust your attitude.

Consumer research has confirmed that customers are unforgiving when it comes to a lack of cleanliness and poor food hygiene.

66% of people responded that they would not return to an unclean food outlet whilst 57% would avoid an establishment that had poor food hygiene standards.

When compared to the 32% who would not return if they had experienced rudeness from staff it’s clear that people forgive human character traits more than they wish to consider the risk of food poisoning.

As you may already know, the Food Standards Agency and local authority inspections don’t look at the food preparation areas and practices in isolation, they inspect the premises too. You must adhere to legislation or bear the distressing circumstances.

A low Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme score yields a lack of customers, a death knell to your business reputation and perhaps legal action or penalties if corrective measures aren’t undertaken swiftly.

Suddenly, emptying the bins, disinfecting work surfaces and tidying away used items takes on a greater urgency.

So too should ensuring that your staff and management are wholly conversant with legislation, comprehend their responsibilities and work within the perimeters of a food safety management scheme.

Personal hygiene is responsible for a plethora of food borne illnesses every day, people have their own idiosyncrasies and views about what’s clean and what isn’t.

These could be counterproductive and if left unchecked, could result in ramifications you wouldn’t have dreamed of.

For example:

  • How regularly do work surfaces need to be cleaned?
  • Do staff use cold or hot water?
  • When do they need disinfectant?
  • How frequently are cloths and towels changed?
  • How often do the staff use dishcloths or brushes without cleaning them?
  • When was the last time the fridge was cleaned thoroughly?
  • Who washes their hands (and who doesn’t) when they put the rubbish outside?
  • Is there a pile of crumbs in the corner that mice or rats would love to nibble?

Health and safety training and food safety training are legal requirements for all staff whether they’re full or part time, established or new starters.

The management, food inspectors and clients then know that the knowledge has been provided so that the staff can work in line with legislation and the best practices should be adopted without exception.

For information about a food safety management system that is recognised in the UK and the EU then HACCP training is vital. (Hazards Analysis Critical Control Points.)

Training companies, including London based Food Alert, deliver HACCP, food safety and health and safety training courses for staff, management and business owners.=

Food safety management system training and initiating a HACCP plan illustrates a proactive attitude and proof of competence.

Uncleanliness, poor food hygiene and slack service paints an entirely negative picture that a customer will walk away from.