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The Importance of Waste Management for Your Food Hygiene Rating
What is the Food Standard Agency’s food hygiene rating scheme?
The Food Standard Agency’s food hygiene rating scheme provides members of the public with information about businesses’ food hygiene standards. The scheme, which is run in partnership with local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, gives businesses a rating from 5 to 0 which is displayed at their premises and online so that the public can make an informed choice about where to eat out and shop for food. A rating of 5, at the top of the scale, indicates that hygiene standards are very good and fully compliant with the law. A zero rating signals urgent improvement is required.
What are food hygiene ratings?
Food hygiene ratings are a snapshot of the standards of food hygiene found at the time of inspection. However, it is the responsibility of the business to comply with food hygiene law at all times. This not only includes food handling, preparation and storage but also the physical condition of the business, in terms of its cleanliness, ventilation, lighting, pest control and other facilities present.
When can waste management become a problem?
There are occasions when cleanliness and waste management can be a difficult task to handle. These could include:
– Taking on new premises – especially if there has been any building work taking place onsite, where there is a lot of mess to deal with before the new business can open.
– Taking over premises – where previous owners may have had inadequate facilities for storing and disposing of food waste and other rubbish. Stores for waste must be designed and managed in a way that enables them to be kept clean and free of pests. Waste must be removed in a hygienic and environmentally friendly way, in accordance with legislation.
– A large public event – when broken glass or food leftovers may have been left behind and the business owners do not have the necessary tools or protective clothing to ensure safety and sanitation.
– Operating a food takeaway – waste cooking oil from catering premises must not be poured down mains drains or sewers because this causes blockages, bad odours, problems with vermin and polluted watercourses. Anyone caught disposing of waste cooking oil in this manner may be prosecuted.
At times like this, an experienced clean-up team should be called in to help restore an area to its original clean condition and dispose of the waste in the correct manner.
Could I lose my rating?
A breach of food hygiene standards can have an extremely detrimental effect on a business, not only for its reputation but also in terms of the potential enforcement action that may be taken against it.
If a food safety incident occurs then a local environmental health or food safety team may be contacted. In this instance, they will investigate and may inspect the business and give it a new hygiene rating. In extreme circumstances, where there is an immediate risk to public health, a business may be closed down until it is safe to start trading again.
Call in the professionals to clear up your waste
If you provide any kind of food service and have an issue with cleanliness or waste management at your business premises, don’t run the risk of ruining your rating – contact a professional clearance service who can advise you on and handle waste removal quickly, safely and responsibly for you.
Guidance for businesses about managing food hygiene and safety at every stage can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.
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