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What Is The Real Cost of Bad Food Hygiene Practice?

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If you run a business, there is a bit of a trade-off to be made sometimes between the cost of training and the benefits of having a trained staff. There are all sorts of training courses available and they will all provide some useful experience to your staff, but they all also have a price tag attached, so you need to evaluate your return on the investment. That said, we suggest you beware of the dangers of so-called ‘free’ courses, as you tend to get what you pay for.

The decision on some training, though, is often quite simple, because it may be a legal requirement that you prove your staff are trained to the appropriate level. This is certainly the case in the food preparation world, where the enforcement officer will want to see that your staff are competent in safe food handling. For most businesses, this means staff will need the Level 2 food hygiene training course.

While you can probably never be 100% certain of eliminating all potential hazards in your food preparation, you can certainly reach a level where you have taken all measures possible and shown diligence and care. Negligence and not following benchmark standards and appropriate safety measures can result in some very hefty penalties. The Food Standards Agency can, and will, enforce where there is a public health issue.

To put some perspective on the risk involved, in 2016 a well known hotel chain were handed a bill for fines and costs of £11,000 when food served at a wedding contained campylobacter bacteria. Over 30 guests suffered from eating the contaminated food and one required hospitalisation. A few months prior to this, a pub Chef and his Manager were jailed for attempting to cover up an incident of food poisoning by falsifying food safety records, after a guest in their pub died as a result of badly prepared and kept food.

With training and then implementation of the procedures learned on the course you will be safeguarding your production. When you are working with food, the safety of the public is both morally and legally paramount for your business.

There is an old story that gets passed around the internet on a regular basis, where the financial director of a business asks the managing director, ‘What if we pay to train people and they leave?’ The response is, ‘What if we don’t train them and they stay?’ I think that about hits the nail on the head when it comes to food hygiene.

Online training will cost a few pounds and could help save you thousands of pounds in compensation, and potentially even a prison sentence. It seems false economy, then, if your team have not been fully trained, because the repercussions could be huge.

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