16 Mar 2022 What Could Poor Food Hygiene Cost Your Business?
Poor food hygiene is a matter of public interest – and as such, any food hygiene breaches can result in negative publicity and repercussions that can cost your business in the short and long terms.
If your business is guilty of Food Safety and Hygiene breaches, what are the ways in which it can cost you financially and reputationally?
Cases of food hygiene negligence regularly make it into both local and national news headlines. Take disgraced butcher Robert Bowring, for example, who owns a chain of butchers throughout the East Midlands. Not only was he fined £25,000 and banned from ever running a food business again after a list of food hygiene offences, his name and the name of his butchery firm was dragged through the mud.
Despite stepping back from the business, Robert Bowring’s legacy continued to impact the business after son George took over and Worked hard to turn it around. Once a name has been tarnished, it’s very difficult to change public opinion.
Word of Mouth
When people have had a bad experience with a retailer or a food business, they usually share their experience with friends and family to warn them off. A Study by Sensormatic on Food Safety revealed that 56% of consumers have experienced a food safety issue and 37% told others about their bad experience.
Of course, word of mouth these days travels far further than the ears of our friends and family. 15% of people who experienced a food hygiene incident posted negative reviews about their experience online. The internet has a very long memory, and bad reviews can influence consumer decisions for years.
A bad experience with a retailer or restaurant can mean a consumer never gives them another chance to get it right. From the same study by Sensormatic, of the 56% of consumers who experienced a food safety issue, 36% stopped eating at a particular restaurant and 25% stopped buying certain types of products.
Discovering a Food Hygiene Error can mean you need to recall a product from market. There are four areas that incur direct costs when you are forced to recall a product:
- Assembling a crisis team
- Removal of product from the market
- Managing the PR
- Investigating and addressing the cause
There are also indirect costs including damage to reputation, loss of sales, legal fees and loss of stock. 55% of consumers would switch brands following a Recall, and 15% would never purchase it again
The legal ramifications of a food hygiene error can range from Criminal to civil, and result in anything from the award of damages to fines and even prosecution.
In civil legal proceedings, food poisoning compensation award amounts for personal injury claims can range from £860 to £49,270 depending on the severity of the illness and the effects. This doesn’t even consider court and legal fees.
Take steps to eliminate the cause of poor food hygiene now
These are our top recommendations for preventing food hygiene errors in your food business:
Where’s the point in following safe cooking and preparation practices if the food you’re storing is out of date and unsafe? Ensure robust inventory tracking at all times to ensure you never serve out of date produce. Use DUED APP to ensure complete due diligence defence
Sanitise Workspaces and Storage Facilities
It sounds like a simple issue, but so often correct cleaning practices are not followed, resulting in cross-contamination. Keep all work surfaces clean, use a system to separate utensils used for raw meat away from those used for cooked foods and clean storage facilities regularly.
Keep your equipment clean and up to standard
Ensure food preparation equipment is correctly cleaned and stored and replaced when worn. Clean equipment thoroughly after every use, and regularly deep clean under and around equipment like fridges and ovens.
Ensure everyone who works for you is aware of their personal and professional responsibilities to ensure adequate hygiene from handwashing and correct use of PPE. Ensure clear instructions are given regarding the cleaning and upkeep of workstations and correct storage and food handling procedures. Ensure you have provided adequate training and although Food Safety Training doesn’t expire, the recommendation is that it is refreshed often.
Be Temperature Aware
From minimum cooking temperature to maximum refrigeration temperatures, ensure you have the correct equipment to monitor and test food storage and cooking temperatures and that staff are trained to understand how temperature impacts the produce they handle and can cause Foodborne Illness.
Do you want to safeguard your business against the costs of a food hygiene mistake? Let us help. Access our Food Safety & Hygiene Training and Dued App today to ensure everyone in your business knows their responsibilities and is doing their utmost to keep your food, and your business, safe.