1. Build a relationship with your health officer, talk to them and invite them to the premises. They will respect you for being the one to ask them which shows that you want to improve!
2. Walk through the establishment starting from the outside, put yourself in the health inspectors place. Check with the local environmental health officer what regulations and forms will be used on the day and apply these when scanning through the premises.
3. Look at all elements of the kitchen space such as ceilings, floors, doors and windows - are they clean and fit for purpose of producing safe food? Do you have separate wash facilities and food preparation areas?
4. Signage! Make sure that all relevant areas have adequate signage in place. We have learned from experience that you can’t have enough signs. It’s important to clearly indicate which wash station is for hand wash, pot wash, or food wash, what colour chopping boards must be used for each food type or areas that are for raw meat only etc within the food preparation unit.
5. Ensure that there is hot, potable water at all times. If there is none at the time of inspection it will cause trouble.
6.Keep an up to date food safety management system, including a HACCP plan and forms such as fridge, freezer and food temperature monitoring sheets. Make sure you know where your critical control points are within your process and the critical limit at each critical point
7. Staff - gather all staff training records as the EHO officer will want to know if your staff have the appropriate training in order to keep the food in your premises safe. One of the most important things is your staffs personal hygiene, poor personal hygiene among staff is one of the biggest causes of food poisoning so the cleanliness of their clothes, hand washing methods and jewellery wearing should be constantly monitored.
Calling All Food Business Owners in Ireland
Under Regulation EU No. 1169/2011 on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers the requirement to provide nutritional information becomes mandatory for most prepacked foods from the 13th of December 2016.
The mandatory nutrition declaration for prepacked food shall include the following:
Table 1. Expression and Presentation of Nutrition Declaration on product label.
For more information regarding the new legislation you can check out the FSAI's website here.
Q. Do staff have to be trained in food safety/hygiene?
It is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity. The responsibility for the supervision and training of staff lies with the proprietor of the food business.
Staff responsible for the development and maintenance of the food business's Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system must have received adequate training in the application of the HACCP principles. There is, however, no legal requirement for individuals to undergo certified training programmes.
Q. Does Newmarket Kitchen carry out food safety/hygiene training?
Yes, Newmarket Kitchen carries out regular level 1 and 2 food safety training. Click here for more information on the next training at Newmarket Kitchen
What's unique about the food safety training held in Newmarket Kitchen is that it is a mixture of theory and practical work, with access to a fully operational, commercial kitchen.
Guide to Food Safety Training Level 1 and Level 2
If you have anymore questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
So you have the perfect product. You’ve done your HACCP training and designed your packaging. Now it’s time to write your HACCP Plan.
As you probably remember from the HACCP training, the HACCP plan is a written document based upon the principles of HACCP. It is a document that describes the procedures that will be followed in order to assure the control of specific processes or procedures. The HACCP system is then the result of the implementation of the HACCP plan.
There are many consultants and agencies out there helping small companies write their HACCP plans. You can ask for different services, depending on your needs but we recommend avoiding third parties. The reason being that nobody knows your product like you do. Nobody knows the procedures and steps you take when making your product better than you. If you understand HACCP (which you should after your HACCP training), then you might as well be the one to identify the potential hazards in your production.
This can also be the perfect opportunity to re-think your production process, to see if it’s good enough, efficient enough and safe enough. Ask yourself; Is there a way to make it simpler, easier or cheaper?
Writing your HACCP plan can help you take a step back and re-evaluate your processes and production from another perspective.
Keep in mind you are not alone in this. Contact your local Environmental Health Officer and ask for help. They will be able to assist you with any questions you have. Ask him/her to revise your plan. Implement any changes needed, improve the plan, and then contact the officer again. It is good to be eager in this process. It will prove to your local Environmental Health Officer that you are serious about food safety and the safety of your production.
It can be a tedious task but in the long run it will pay off and you will learn more about your production process. You will also have a very specific HACCP plan tailor-made for your product.
Additionally, you will have the local Environmental Health Officer on your side and benefit from the fact that he/she will know you are fully committed to the safety of your product.
It is for this reason that we recommend you do your HACCP plan yourself. It will strengthen your food safety knowledge, improve your relations with your local Environmental Health Officer and ensure that your systems are correct, up-to-date and working.
If you’ve done your market research, identified an opportunity for a new product, completed your HACCP training and contacted your local Environmental Health Office we want to hear from you.
Newmarket Kitchen offers commercial grade kitchen facilities, storage and consulting services for anyone looking to start and grow their food/drink business.
So, you have an idea to start a food business. You have a great recipe and food that everybody likes and keeps asking you to make!
You’re ready to take it to the next level, you’ve done some research and found out what it takes to set up a food business however you have quickly realized that scaling up production isn’t quite as simple as making ten times more food than you usually would.
Maybe you’ve started to panic about food safety, legal requirements and HACCP training and are thinking of giving up.
You can find a tonne of information about food safety and HACCP on the internet. One of the places to start may be here or here. If you’re not a food scientist or technologist you can easily get lost in all the information out there.
But HACCP is really not something to freak out about. Firstly, it stands for the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points - it says exactly what it is.
You need to think of your product from the production point of view. Then, within your production process, you need to know where your product could get contaminated – meaning, what are the points which, if out of control, will result in your product being packed with a nasty virus or bacteria, or containing metal particles or anything else you would rather not eat yourself.
Finally, you need to put procedures in place to avoid the possibility of contamination at all costs. It will be these procedures that ensure a consistent and safe product.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ procedure. Each production process is tailored to each individual product – even if it’s the same item or similar. People making exactly what you make may be doing it in another way or in different conditions and therefore their way of dealing with the food safety can be very different from yours. Therefore, resist the temptation of copying what other people do and develop your own HACCP system that fits your product, your production environment and business needs.
As daunting as they may seem, HACCP training courses are fairly straight forward. Be prepared and go in with questions specific to your product and production process. Ask whatever isn’t clear to you. Make sure you know how to define the control points and critical control points in your production process when you walk out of the course. Make the most of the money you’re spending to get qualified.
With your production processes defined, food safety course completed and confidence at an all-time high you will now need a production facility. That’s where we come in.
Give us a call or email and we will help guide you through the next steps in getting your product on supermarket shelves.
Dusan Ristic - Newmarket Kitchen Food Scientist