Chill Out, Play by the Rules
The Food Safety Act 1990 provides the blueprint for all food safety legislation in the UK and if you prepare, handle or serve food then you must abide by the rules. If not, there are serious penalties.
With regards to refrigeration of food, under the rules of the act every food related firm and worker must:
- Ensure that nothing is added or removed or treated in a way which could damage the health of people consuming it.
- g. Adding out of date mayonnaise to a dish or serving milk which warmed because it was left out of the fridge overnight.
- Food should be labelled, advertised and presented honestly.
- g. Best before date/eat by dates.
- Are the ingredients in a sandwich as the consumer would expect?
- The sandwich says eat by 1st December and this is accurate for most ingredients but the ham in the sandwich has the eat by (not best before) date of 29th Which date is correct?
- Food served/sold is of a substance and quality which consumers would reasonably expect.
- g. Seafood kept in the shop window without refrigeration but with full sunlight is dangerous.
- Bread is curling at the corners because it has been exposed to the air.
- Cream has curdled because it has not been refrigerated.
This, you might think, is perfectly obvious and that only people who didn’t know what they were doing would flout the rules. But you’d be surprised.
If everyone took the wisest course of action there would be no prosecutions, no need for checks on food hygiene levels and no audits of procedures including how food is stored to ensure safety.
Taking chances when you run out of space for refrigeration at peak times is a way to cause a health and safety issue and incur the wrath of customers and perhaps lawyers.
If you find that your stock levels and your fridge space don’t match but you don’t have room to install a permanent fridge, then please investigate mobile chiller hire.
You can find expert service providers the length and breadth of the country, including Berkshire based Icecool Trailers, and they’ll supply a unit for any duration.
So, as we are approaching Christmas party season your demand may rise, take out the “insurance” of walk in chiller/cold room hire, stay within the law and don’t leave stock inadequately managed.
This is a common sense cost effective solution. When business hits lower levels the walk in chiller can go back to the hire firm.
Your alternative option of hoping for the best, keeping food which should be refrigerated not in a cold room but on a cold floor may just see you in court.
Illogical, and yet some try this to avoid paying for chiller hire. The fines cost a lot more than mobile chiller hire.
When you play by the rules you can have confidence and relax in the knowledge that the customer on table 3 isn’t eating centrally heated then cooked steak.