Combatting the near 2.5 million foodborn illnesses a year in the UK
A system first deployed in the 1960s to help ensure that food was safe to eat evolved into the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). The UK began using the methodology in 1996 and it became mandatory for all food business in the country in 2006, according to a recent report on the Hospitality and Catering News (HCN) website.
Current statistics are alarming, says the article.
- There are an estimated 2.4 million foodborne illnesses a year in the UK alone.
- Reference is also made to the Food Safety News website which reveals that annual deaths are running at 180 – all caused by foodborne diseases from 11 pathogens.
HACCP is “an internationally recognised system that identifies, evaluates, and controls potential health and safety risks during the food production process”, says HCN – and its principles apply to “all food business operators”.
Planning – and hand washing
Food businesses must make every effort to identify “all possible hazards so you can create measures to counter them” says the report, with the intention of reducing risk levels to a level that is deemed acceptable.
And ensuring cleanliness at all times is vital – it’s a core pillar of the planning process.
“Every catering establishment should practice food hygiene to avoid contamination.”
Hand washing, at correct times, using appropriate techniques, and for a sufficient duration, is vitally important.
“People preparing the food must observe personal hygiene. Always wash hands before performing a task, especially after touching raw ingredients, smoking, eating, taking out the garbage, or touching body parts like the mouth.“
An NHS video How to wash your hands demonstrates these washing methods, stating
“Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from illnesses such as food poisoning and flu.”
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