Staying on top of your compliance can seem like a tall order at the best of times. But it’s never been more important than in these uncertain economic times. As customers have less disposable income, they’ll be looking for the best quality places to use it, so making sure you’ve got a top hygiene rating is a sure-fire way to get customers through your door.
Worried about your business with a potential recession looming? Have a look at our free guide to recession-proofing your business for our tips to survive and thrive.
What is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) and what does the law say?
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is recognised throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and its aim is to give customers peace of mind and confidence about a business’s hygiene standards. To achieve a good rating, you’ll have to demonstrate to an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) that you’ve achieved a good level of legal compliance.
What does the EHO assess?
- How hygienically food is handled – including food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.
- The condition and structure of the working premises – including how clean it is, what condition it is in, pest control, lighting and ventilation to name a few.
- How food safety is managed within the working environment – including food safety procedures, HACCP, training and record keeping to ensure good hygiene is maintained.
It’s important to note that businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland are currently required by law to display their ratings in a prominent place – but this is not yet a legal requirement in England.
Why is it important to have a top food hygiene rating?
Research from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found that the food hygiene rating scheme really is being used by customers when choosing a business to spend their money at. 85% of respondents were aware of the hygiene standards in the places they eat out at. Food hygiene ratings stickers and the general appearance of the business were shown to be the most common ways customers assessed this. As well as this, venue with a food hygiene rating of 5 is more likely to have better staff retention and more loyal customers. Allowing your hygiene standards to slip can be in terms of business reputation, but can also impact customers’ health.
But the good news is that a food hygiene rating of 5 is totally achievable! Carry on reading to find out how…
How do you achieve a top food hygiene rating?
Not sure how you can improve your business and achieve that 5-star rating? Here’s our top tips:
- Ensure staff have good personal hygiene practices and have received appropriate training for their role
- Ensure you have a good and well implemented food safety management system that is based on HACCP principles
- Prevent cross-contamination
- Ensure premises are clean and pest free
- Keep records up to date and accurate
Looking for more info? Download our free guide on achieving a top food hygiene rating!
It’s not just about your business, either – it’s important to make sure your suppliers have good food hygiene standards and overall compliance, so you don’t face any reputational damage or, in worst-case scenarios, prosecutions. Find out more about the support we offer on supply chain assurance here.
How can Food Alert help you?
With everything the hospitality industry has been through over the past few years, a poor food hygiene rating or an unexpected hygiene breach is definitely the last thing you need. Food Alert, you can gain a food hygiene rating of 5 which in turn will increase customer confidence in your business and attract more customers through your doors.
Our Alert65 safety compliance software gives you the power to manage your safety procedures and reduce your exposure to risk. With Alert65 you can:
- Customise food safety to meet your needs
- Invest in your people and manage their training from one location
- Manage food safety easily using user friendly modules such as HACCP, allergen management, food complaints and supplier management
- Create checklists to monitor your key processes and procedures
- Manage and store your safety documentation centrally so everyone is using the most up to date information – perfect for showing the EHO assessing your business
Don’t believe us?
- 95% of clients believe they’re less likely to suffer a Health & Safety and Food Safety incident as a result of using Food Alert.
- 98% of clients feel more confident during an EHO inspection.
- 85% are confident that they’ll achieve a FHR of 5.
With over 30 years’ experience and partnerships with key players like , we’re the hospitality industry’s safety provider of choice. Call us today on 020 7244 1900 to discover how we can help your business.