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UK Health & Safety Red Tape Costs Lives


Manchester, UK – February 27, 2007

7 out of 10 chefs do not adhere fully to the new HACCP requirement introduced into the legislation in January 2006, according to a recent survey by Shieldyourself, a Manchester based food safety consultancy.

The survey also revealed that chefs spend an average of 4-6 hours per week dealing with health and safety and food safety related paper work, however, 78% admitted to being more concerned with “ticking boxes” rather than ensuring that all necessary health and safety measures had been taken to protect employees and customers.

Mark Flanagan, Managing Director of Shieldyourself and a former Environmental Health Officer commented: “Although the findings are concerning I don’t think that they are that surprising. The emphasis in kitchens has always been to ensure that the temperature monitoring records are completed to prevent the restaurant from failing an inspection. However, the emphasis should be on a documented food safety management system which should include menu specifications and a detailed description of the corrective action to be followed when a problem occurs, this should be recorded and should detail what went wrong, why and what was done about it. This approach will help ensure that the business is compliant, the food produced is safe and that customers are not in any danger of contracting food poisoning.

“Chefs and managers should not be wasting their time filing in reams of paperwork estimated to be up to 15 different forms per day for an average restaurant. The process should be simplified to ensure that they have the resources to comply with legislation and they should be encouraged to raise issues, which can then be addressed, as opposed to feeling that they have to cover up any potential breaches for fear of reprisals. Shieldyourself have developed a diary system that enables structured procedures and formal internal communication strategies to be implemented throughout the business to ensure that all employees are aware of individual responsibilities and know how to deal with any potential health and safety issues.”

An initiative is available from the Food Safety Agency (FSA) to help very small caterers and retailers to comply with the new legislation. The initiative is called Safer Food Better Business. Shieldyourself have trained thousands of small caterers how to use and complete the Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) pack. Shieldyourself have developed a detailed version of SFBB and applied the approach to health and safety and fire safety.

For more information on how your company can receive support in dealing with HACCP, Health and Safety and Fire Safety, please contact Mark Flanagan, Managing Director of Shieldyourself.



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