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Do you know what the UK food information regulations are?

The Food Information Regulations 2014 have allowed food safety auditors acting with the Food Standards Agency and local authorities to enforce consumer regulation 1169/2011 (FIC.)

If you prepare food and fail to label its ingredients correctly and allergens are not highl
ighted which places people at risk this is a serious offence.3

The regulations were established to permit more proportional penalties rather than a blanket policy for food information offences.

Improvement notices are a key tool in the Food Information Regulations. Failure to improve could result in legal action, financial penalties and convictions.

In 2018 there will be a further development to the regulations. You need to know what this means and how a simple act like labelling can carry huge ramifications.

There are some points which offer a relaxation of the regulations but you need to be confident about these and how flexible the exemption is.

The best course is to know exactly what your responsibilities are and to go above and beyond these to protect your business, staff and customers.

How do the regulations affect your food oriented business?

A few examples:

  • In non pre packed foods the name of the food or dish is to be given.
  • Allergen information must be provided for non pre packed foods.
  • Meat in non pre packed food must be quantified.
  • All food items labelled must adhere to the Food Information Regulations 2014.

The rules in England differ slightly from the ones enforced in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so research is vital.

During a food safety audit it will be expected that labelling will meet all 2014 legislative requirements, ignorance is no excuse for endangering health and safety.

A kitchen audit should return a great result as common sense dictates that your premises should be effectively cleaned.

In practical terms labelling food correctly isn’t a chore or an unnecessary hassle. It is a reasonable, conscious action to ensure that no one suffers a reaction through dining or purchasing food with your firm.

What can you do to become informed?

Can you place your faith in a web page created in July 2014? Where can you view information about the 2018 plans?

How can you ensure that every staff member from the trainee to the managing director knows what the regulations are, what they need to do and what happens if they don’t?

You can’t wait until a food safety auditor gives you a Remedial Action Notice or a fine. Be proactive.

Several excellent food safety training companies are run by professionals, some of whom have worked or still work as food safety auditors and they are fully briefed on all updates, revisions and enforcements in food preparation and retail environments.

Firms like Food Alert in London can deliver accurate and tailored courses at their premises, your premises and some courses are moving online.

Learn how to guarantee safety without suffering a food safety audit nightmare. It costs far less to train than to receive a fine.

Timmy Moore
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