The State of Food Safety in the UK
Every year, roughly 1 million people suffer from foodborne illnesses in the UK and 20,000 of those are hospitalised. What’s perhaps most surprising is that almost half of these illnesses (48%) are caught from restaurants.
There’s no doubt that both chefs and consumers are aware of the risks. 32% of chefs believe that above everything else food safety could cost them their reputation and, when eating out, consumers two biggest concerns are food hygiene and food poisoning. These concerns are on the rise, with recent research by the FSA suggesting that 80% of consumers are ‘very aware’ of food hygiene in restaurants and 40% look for food hygiene stickers.
There is, however, much work to be done. In the last year, local authorities have issued 160,000 written warnings, 6553 improvement notices and 357 prosecutions as a result of food safety violations.
Some of the most common violations relate to record keeping, cleanliness and equipment being poorly maintained – but new technology is helping to improve this. With many records now being kept electronically it’s easy for restaurants to safeguard their HACCP plan and lost, illegible or incomplete paperwork should become a thing of the past.
Likewise, with cold storage units being monitored 24-hours a day for temperature, humidity and door open/ close status chefs and restaurant owners can have peace of mind knowing that they’ll be alerted instantly if food safety is compromised.