The importance of Hygiene
In 2018, over 100 takeaways and restaurants were closed down by the FSA and 66 enforcement orders levied against operators.
The chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Dr Pamela Byrne described this increase as unacceptable and said there are “absolutely no excuses for negligent food practices”. Source (https://www.thejournal.ie/takeaways-closed-down-4431088-Jan2019/)
The HSE, on behalf of the FSAI, inspects tens of thousands of food establishments in Ireland each and every year. Despite that fact and despite knowing the risk to public health and the risk of losing one’s business, some food operators still conduct their hygiene practices as if we were back in the 80’s.
Just like every change in every walk of life, we go overboard with the change to move from grossly inadequate to grossly over protective, and eventually we find a common ground in the middle. Hygiene practices are no different. If you want to own and operate a restaurant, you must comply with the safety standards set out by the FSA, irrespective of whether you feel they are over the top. Your business depends on compliance.
But simple practices and observances are critical to hygiene maintenance. Pay attention to your overall maintenance program, if a hole appears in the wall, fix it, if the fridge starts to loose temperature, fix it, if the tiles become cracked, replace them. You should be carrying out a maintenance check every day and fix what is broken. This exercise alone will help you see much more than just maintenance.
Follow the HACCP guidelines, record everything, store food as recommended, use the correct chopping boards, label all foods entering your premises and clean as you go. Simple steps to avaoid problems.
If an order is served on you and your property, it is nobody’s fault but your own, so pay attention to the small things. When an order is served, the offending premises must take action to rectify the problems highlighted before being granted permission to resume trading. If it is lifted, the business has its record scrubbed from the FSAI’s website after three months. But, the damage is already done. We live in a fickle and unforgiving society, once you make a mistake, society remembers forever.
Dr Pamela Byrne said: “ Food safety legislation sets standards which food businesses must adhere to, and there can be no shortcuts when it comes to ensuring the protection of consumer health. Source: (https://www.thejournal.ie/takeaways-closed-down-4431088-Jan2019/)