Food Safety: What you need to know

Food Safety: What you need to know

Do you or your employees handle foodstuffs or products during your work duties? Food handlers have a legal duty to manage food safety and undertake relevant training – as set out by EU and Irish laws under Regulation (EC) 852 / 2004. The responsibility for the proper training of staff lies with the proprietor of the business, and the staff who are responsible for the maintenance of the businesses’ Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system must have received adequate training in this area. 

Whether you are a food supplier, food business owner, a manufacturer or even a customer, you have a significant role to play in food safety. Failure to follow the set standards can cause food to become contaminated, of which the consequences can potentially be fatal. 

Ayrton Group provides a range of training options for our clients within this sector, so one of our food safety and hygiene training courses will suit you whatever your requirements are. 


What is food safety?

Food safety is a term that refers to the practices that are observed during the handling, processing and distribution of food to ensure that contaminants that can cause food-borne illnesses are not present. It is the proper food handling procedures that are applied during the preparation, processing, storage and distribution stages of your food business. 

Effectively managing food safety requires knowledge about what can impact its integrity – such as contaminants (biological, chemical, physical) along the food chain.   

Recent data released by the World Health Organisation has estimated that an estimated 600 million people (almost one in ten) will fall ill after eating contaminated food every year, and at least 420,000 people die as a result of this. 

In Ireland, food law is enforced by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) along with other state agencies including the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority and the HSE. The FSAI is an independent statutory organisation that ensures that food safety and hygiene standards are met in shops, restaurants, cafes, hotels, market stalls, food stalls and fishing vessels (Source). If you operate a food business, the FSAI will send safety inspectors to test for contamination and to ensure that proper food safety practices are in place and are being adhered to correctly.

What is HACCP?

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, or HACCP, refers to the procedures that must be in place to ensure that the food you produce is safe (Source). These procedures should form the basis of a food safety management system, as they will allow you or your employees to not only identify but also control any hazards that could pose a danger to the preparation of safe food. It essentially allows food handlers to identify the common hazards and their controls, and to understand the role of adequate preparation in controlling hazards. 

The core principles of HACCP are: 

  1. Identifying Hazards
  2. Determine Critical Control Points 
  3. Establish Critical Limits 
  4. Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP 
  5. Establish corrective action to be taken 
  6. Establish verification procedures to ensure the system is working effectively
  7. Establish documentation concerning all procedures, along with records appropriate to these principles and their application. 


What are the benefits of this training?

In addition to the regulatory requirements of food safety training, there are a number of additional benefits that HACCP based procedures will bring to your business. The basics are avoiding food poisoning and contamination, thereby protecting your customers and providing you with a due diligence defence should anything go wrong. These procedures will save your business money in the long run, by increasing safety and quality standards, making a more efficient business process to produce safe food, and can assist in organising your staff by promoting teamwork and efficiency. 

At Ayrton, our Basic Food Safety Training Level 1 covers modules such as Personal Hygiene & Cleanliness; Modes of Transfer of Infection; Prevention of Food Contamination; Dangers of Food Contamination; Proper and Safe Methods of Food Handling and Protective Equipment to name a few. 

Find out more about Food Safety Training with Ayrton here, or speak to a member of our team today about how Ayrton can assist you. Contact us today to find out more.

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