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Food Safety Week 2018: Protecting your Plate

NCASS: Proud supporters of Food Safety Week 2018

Creating Awareness

Every year, The Food Standards Agency, the independent government department tasked with ensuring the safety of our food here in the UK, launches a Food Safety Week, in order to create awareness about, yep you guessed it – food safety.

FSW 2018 focuses on ‘Protecting your Plate’ and shines a light on employees through the entirety of the food chain who work tirelessly to ensure our access to food which is safe and what it says it is; the FSA work hard so that we can trust the food on our plate, and it is hoped that the campaign, as a result of its transparency, will increase our confidence in the food and drink we consume, whether it’s purchased from a supermarket, restaurant or takeaway.

Protection at every stage

Roles within the FSA range from Food Allergy and Intolerance Research Managers, who “use robust science and evidence …to provide expert risk assessment and specialist advice for food allergy and intolerance incidents in the UK,” to a Shellfish Official Controls Manager. With an estimated 2 million people in the UK, now dealing with a food allergy – the work of allocated allergy and intolerance research managers (such as Ross Yarham, who the campaign shines a light on) is pivotal in the prevention of allergic responses to the food we eat.

The FSA’s steadfastness to protecting our plates infiltrates everything they do, as can be seen in the variety of roles within the organisation – roles such as meat hygiene and dairy inspector look after our (and animals’) welfare from farm to fork, whereas the wine inspection team monitor the wine we consume from grape to glass, ensuring the safety, and deliciousness of our plonk – thank goodness! David Cracknell, who heads up the aforementioned Shellfish Controls team, is tasked with monitoring and investigating possible contamination in coastal waters around the UK. David’s work ensures that we as consumers, are not exposed to harmful toxins such as paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) – one dose of which can result in paralysis and death within just 20 minutes.

Spare a thought:

Here in the UK, we’re incredibly fortunate in that we often take the safety and trustworthiness of our food for granted – and it’s easy to forget the people and processes who were vigilant at every stage of its journey, thereby affording us this opportunity. So, when you get home tonight and make your dinner, or you go to a farmer's market, a street food event or outdoor festival this weekend– spare a thought for those people who were uncompromising in their resolve to bring you safe food.

More on Food Safety Week 2018 here

How NCASS has worked to protect your plate:

As the Nationwide Caterers Association, not only do we work closely with the FSA to ensure the safety of our members’ food, we’ve worked tirelessly over the last three decades to bring innovative food safety systems to our members and the industry at large. Our Due Diligence system gives caterers both the knowledge and the confidence to be able to trade safely and thus profitability; as do our triple accredited training programmes which are available to members and non-members alike. We will soon be launching our pioneering new system, CaterSmart in to the catering stratosphere, thereby enabling members 24/7 online access to their due diligence system. More on CaterSmart coming soon.

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