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Number of food fines double since enforcement of new hygiene regulations

by Sophie Haigh | Read Time: 3 Minutes | Jun 05, 2019

The number of fines handed out to food firms has more than doubled since new safety and hygiene regulations were introduced, according to insurance consultancy NFU Mutual.

The Sentencing Council issued 130 fines in 2016 – the year the Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences guideline for England and Wales came into force. Just 60 fines were issued in 2013 in comparison.

Some of the failures in basic food hygiene include staff at one takeaway handling raw meat before moving on to touch cooked food, allowing frozen food to defrost at room temperature, as well as using the same cooking utensils for raw and ready-to-eat foods.

The cost of fines have also risen as a consequence, with the average figure up from £2,200 to £7,100 when comparing 10 months pre-guideline with 10 months post-guideline.

Darren Seward, food & drink sector specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “The vast majority of businesses work incredibly hard to meet their hygiene and safety obligation and the irresponsible businesses are being held more accountable for poor conduct.

“Managers have a duty to put hygiene and safety at the heart of the company’s values to prevent getting into a serious situation in the first place, and damage as a result of hygiene issues reache much further than a fine.

“Most importantly, innocent lives could be put at serious risk of harm. Getting it right takes work, but there is no excuse in the eyes of the law, or indeed the public.”

Despite the long list of rules and regulations, maintaining high standards of safety and hygiene when handling food can become second nature to an individual or business if the right training is deployed. NCASS offers City & Guilds accredited hygiene and health and safety courses to companies and individuals working in the food industry.

From basic hygiene training for staff working within an environment handing food, through to more in-depth training for chefs, our training courses can be completed online and are suited to a diverse range of businesses working in direct or non-direct contact with food, including mobile caters, restaurants, schools, care homes and councils.

For more information on our food hygiene training, click here or speak to the team on 0121 603 2514.


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