14/08/2020 - Permalink

Shropshire food businesses reminded that council is here to help them trade safely

Related topics: Coronavirus / Public protection

A new campaign from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), supported by Shropshire Council, offers support and guidance to established and new food businesses, as they welcome customers in the ‘new normal’.

Here to Help’ which launched this week, is targeting businesses that have had to diversify in order to continue to trade during the Covid -19 pandemic, as well as newly established small and micro food businesses.

It aims to give food businesses help with the food hygiene and safety rules they need to consider if they have changed their operating model. In response to the many home catering businesses which have resulted during lockdown, there is also clear advice of the importance of registering their business as well as what they need to do to trade compliantly.

Michael Jackson, the FSA’s head of regulatory compliance said:

“We understand how tough it’s been for the food service sector and how hard they have worked to overcome these difficult circumstances. At the same time, it’s really important for food businesses to understand the possibility of additional safety risks, introduced by changes they have made; and the steps they must take to address these risks – both for themselves and their customers.

“Working in partnership with Shropshire Council we really want to support businesses in getting it right – which is why our ‘Here to Help’ guidelines sets out what they need to do, in a practical and easy way.”

The ‘Here to Help’ guide is based on the questions that have been asked by businesses over recent months. It includes useful advice on the provision of allergen information; food packaging, takeaway containers and ensuring delivery drivers follow food hygiene rules, and the importance and benefits of registration.

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:

“We have seen the high fines and reputational damage that can result when a customer is made ill because of poor food safety management in the kitchen, inaccurate allergen information, or poor food hygiene practices.

“That’s why we want to work with the FSA to support the businesses in Shropshire to ensure they are registering, keeping us informed of changes, providing accurate allergen information and adhering to the rules – to keep their businesses and customers safe.”

Food businesses in Shropshire can register by following this link.

‘Here to Help’ will also be supported by a series of case studies. Businesses will be talking about how they have managed the transition to new operating models and the challenges they have come up against, through Covid-19. Their stories will be highlighted through blogs, podcasts and webinars across FSA channels. Find out more here.

For more information:

  • Food businesses can get more information here.
  • For more information on the work that Shropshire Council has been doing to support food businesses during Covid 19, please click here.
  • Not sure if you should register as a food business? We can help you.
  • For Covid health and safety information and low cost training, click here.

Further information

1. Registration with the council 28 days before opening is a legal requirement for anyone who starts a new food business or takes over an existing one. This includes anyone who sells, cooks, stores, handles, prepares or distributes food from their home on a regular basis.

2. If a business is already registered but has changed how they operate, they should contact the council to let them know.

3. Registration applies to the majority of food businesses. This includes anyone who provides food from their homes and online through sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Amazon or eBay as well as from market stalls, food pop ups and vehicles used to provide and distribute food.

4. The penalty for running a food business without registration can include a fine, imprisonment for up to two years or both.

5. The provision of allergen information (for 14 allergens) by food businesses is a legal requirement.

6. On average an estimated 10 people each year die in England, Wales and Northern Ireland because of food allergy incidents. Younger people tend to be disproportionately affected.