Food legislation: Safety regulation 1995
Food handlers are required to follow a number of regulations to ensure both consumers and employers are safe. Here we take a look at safety regulation 1995.
Operating within a food business, whether it be directly dealing and handling food or perhaps working in management, means abiding by the law. Just like any other sector, there are a number of regulations in the food industry that must be followed to ensure that both consumers and employers are as safe as possible.
The Food Safety regulation 1995 sets out a number of general food hygiene standards that apply across the European Community as part of the Food Hygiene Directive. Such legislation has an impact on the whole food chain, from the very first stages at the farm to the end product, in a shop or restaurant.
In the UK, any property that prepares food (restaurants, food manufacturers, cafes etc) needs to be registered with the Local Authority. Here, environmental health officers will ensure that the correct procedures and standards are being adhered to.
Enforced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the regulation states that employers must ensure that all food handlers are supervised, instructed and trained in food hygiene matters to a level appropriate to their job. While there are types of training that is mandatory for food handlers, employers can also opt for additional training so that they provide the best possible service.
Has this legislation changed?
In 1999, more legislation was introduced to cover the use of machinery and the safety of the premises in which food is prepared. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the employer must take reasonable care to ensure that the place of work is safe.
The safety of employees is always something that must be considered carefully. Under this legislation, staff safety is ensured with a compulsory assessment of risk and the maintenance of equipment and premises. Any employee who handles food must be trained to an appropriate level of food hygiene awareness so that they understand the principles of food safety, sanitation and the importance of good personal hygiene.
How does it affect food businesses?
This legislation is applicable to food businesses across the UK and failure to comply with this law could result in damaging fines, the closing of a business and in some cases, imprisonment. But this shouldn’t be the only worry for employers.
If employees are placed in an environment that is unsafe because regulations have not been followed, not only could the employer face imprisonment, but staff could be in danger of harm or, in the worst case, death.
Food safety is something that all businesses and food handlers must take seriously. Employers are directly responsible for complying with all food safety regulations affecting their business and getting it wrong can be fatal, with some very costly repercussions. Not only is improving the food safety culture about obeying the law, but it is also about being socially responsible.
How can Virtual College help?
For 21 years, Virtual College have been developing and supplying collaborative, customer-focused e-learning technology for organisations worldwide. The dedication of our team combined with an agile way of working, further improves the level and quality of service for customers, as well as the end result in their organisations.
We have a number of courses available that relate to food safety and hygiene, which can be easily accessed and completed at a time and place suited to the learner. Click here to browse our range of food hygiene courses.