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Get your admin in order





The winter months are a great time to get your business admin in order. Compliancy is incredibly important in our industry, but fortunately, NCASS makes this simple for members.


This time of year, it’s common for local authorities to send out enforcement officers to businesses as they are catching up on inspections before the end of the year. This means that although having your legal documents in order all year round is vital, your chances of being inspected in December may be increased, and compliancy standards must therefore not be allowed to slip.

Got a spare couple of days coming up? Spend some time updating and organising your documentation, and much of it won’t need to be changed for another twelve months.

Here’s a checklist of the things you need to have in order:

Risk assessments:

Risk assessments document your safety processes and record that you are complying with the law. They identify hazards and outline procedures to prevent them. You should have a risk assessment for Food Safety, Health & Safety and Fire Safety in your business.

Be compliant: In your NCASS control panel, you can create and update risk assessments for food safety, health & safety and fire safety. The system allows you to change your risk assessment as and when you change your safety procedures. Risk assessments should only take around ten minutes each to complete, and unless your processes or menu change, won’t need to be updated for a whole twelve months.


Allergens:

Customers who have allergies to food must be able to ask a member of staff for information about any allergens before they buy from you, so you must have an allergen table that documents which of the 14 main allergens are present in your dishes.

Be compliant: You can download the NCASS Allergen Toolkit for free here. Remember, every time you change or add a dish to your menu, you’ll have to reassess it for allergens and add it to your documentation. Displaying an allergen sticker on your unit/at your premises will also ensure customers know they can ask for help.

Insurance:

We advise all caterers to purchase Public Liability and Product Liability insurance to protect them against claims. If you have staff of any kind (paid or unpaid) you are required by law to have Employers Liability insurance.

Be compliant: Take some time to check all of your insurance is in date and keep note of when it is due to be renewed. When contacting brokers for new policies, be sure to explain every aspect of your business activity to ensure that the policy you buy covers you for every possible incident.


Gas Certificates:

There are a lot of safety concerns when it comes to using gas equipment, so it is crucial that any LPG equipment you use is checked and is only operated by staff who are suitably trained to work with LPG.

Be compliant:
You must ensure your LPG appliances are inspected and maintained by a qualified Gas Safe engineer at least once every twelve months. You can find a qualified engineer on the NCASS Find an Engineer page. Make note of when you next need to have your LPG systems checked to prevent any dangerous accidents.

Training:

You and your staff should be adequately trained for the jobs you do. Many business owners choose to use formal training courses such as NCASS Training, to be certain that their staff know what they are doing. NCASS Training courses can be completed online, meaning once you have allocated courses to your staff, they can complete them when and where best suits them.

Be compliant: Training certificates are valid for three years. It is important that staff retake their training to ensure important information is not forgotten and bad habits are not picked up. You can check when your own and your staff’s certificates are due to expire by logging into your NCASS account.


Hygiene Rating:

After an inspection by an EHO, you will be awarded with a Food Hygiene Rating between 0 and 5. This rating will advise customers on the hygiene standards of your business and help you to understand whether improvement is needed and where, so that standards can be raised in future.

Be compliant: Be sure to upload your Food Hygiene Rating to your NCASS profile page. This will demonstrate your standards to event organisers and EHOs, which can be an important factor in being hired for future work. It should only take around ten minutes to upload your rating, and instructions can be found here.

You can find more information about compliancy in the Get Legal area of our website.



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