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your EHO visit

December 20, 2017

Looking forward to your visit from the EHO?

Here at Shield Safety Group, we understand from our 14 years in industry that running a food business comes with its fair share of challenges. Do you recognise any of these?

Worried about a visit from the EHO

That knock on the door from an Enforcement Officer can be worrying, whether you’re a new business or awaiting re-inspection. Often what is worrying is the unknown – ‘What will they look at?’, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ or even ‘Will they assess me consistently from previous visits?’ As outlined in our blog, What to expect when the Food Safety Officer calls, an officer will check food hygiene, equipment, structure and confidence in management during their visit. At the end of the inspection, the Food Safety Officer will give the location a Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) rating.

Low Food Hygiene Rating

As we discussed in our blog Chief Scientific Adviser’s Scientific Report, consumer awareness of FHRS is on the rise. The scheme which rates businesses on a scale from ‘0 – urgent improvement required’ to ‘5 – very good’ now includes over 430,000 business, with information freely available from the FSA here. 78% of consumers in England recognise the scheme and 44% of UK consumers would turn away from an outlet rated 3 or less. Could you afford to lose nearly half of your business?

Unsure of your Food Safety documentation

Food businesses are required by law to have a written policy, also known as a Food Safety Management System, in place. You also need to be able to prove that you are following the policy with some documentation, which often consists of multiple checks across multiple pieces of paper. From experience, we know that many SME business owners will write these systems themselves or use free-to-download resources which only cover the very basics in operating procedures –  can you be sure that this is enough to meet your legal requirements?

Overrun with paperwork

Once in place, keeping on top of Food Safety documentation is a time-consuming task. Not only do you need to make sure that your policy remains up-to-date and relevant to your operating procedures, you also need to have your due diligence records – including daily, weekly, monthly checks and more – printed and ready. And then you need to make sure you fill them in, whilst carrying out all the other duties that come with running a business! The EHO will look at your documentation as part of their inspection, as this shows how the business manages what it does to make sure food is safe, and so that the officer can be confident standards will be maintained by the business in the future. A lack of paperwork can lead to a poor rating, so it’s vital you keep on top of this. Perhaps you need a unique, easy-to-use document to contain all checks?

We’ve got the solution for you. 

Our brand-new Food Safety Membership Pack has been designed to alleviate all of these problems. It provides the all-in-one solution for managing Food Safety in a small business and includes:

  • A Food Safety Management System
  • Unique Kitchen Compliance Diaries
  • Food Safety Advice Line
  • Membership Certificate
  • Membership Card

What’s more, it has been awarded Primary Authority Advice which is assured. This is through our Coordinated Primary Authority Partnership with Milton Keynes. By purchasing the Pack, you automatically become a regulated member of the Primary Authority scheme. This means that provided that you abide by the advice you are given, you won’t need to follow conflicting advice from other sources. Your business should be protected against the risk of enforcement action from enforcing authorities that have different views on what you should be doing to achieve compliance. Read more on the benefits of a Primary Authority in our blog Do I need a Primary Authority?

So, with an effective system in place, created by the UK’s largest team of Environmental Health Practitioners and with Primary Authority Advice, you can look forward to your next EHO visit knowing you’ve got all areas of managing food safety in place. (As long as you are following it of course.)

To find out more about our Food Safety Membership Pack visit here, email sales@shieldsafety.co.uk or phone 020 3740 3744 to speak to one of our friendly advisors.

The information contained in this blog article has been created for marketing purposes and is not official guidance and should not be used as a substitute for official Food Safety, Fire Safety and Health & Safety advice. Shield Safety take no responsibility if the information in the blog article is used to form part of a safety management system or used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business. For official guidance and to engage with Shield Safety services please do call our team on 020 3740 3744 or email hello@shieldsafety.co.uk.