15 Nov 2021 Why Does Your Business Need a Food Safety Consultant?
As Food Safety Consultants, understanding the potential pitfalls of the many Food Safety standards, laws and regulations is our bread and butter. But when your bread and butter is making and selling the food, it can be overwhelming to navigate all the legislation surrounding that. As a result, the rules that are in place to protect consumers can leave your business vulnerable.
Ensuring compliance with the range of responsibilities can be a minefield, leaving your business at risk of legal ramifications. Many business owners worry they may be missing a factor of compliance with Food Safety law, so bringing in the professionals can help bring relief and peace of mind.
Could a Food Safety Consultant be just what you need to assess your current Food Safety standards and get you on track?
What does a Food Safety Consultant do?
A Food Safety Consultant provides an impartial set of eyes that can strategically assess your current practices and find areas where you may be at risk or could improve.
As part of their assessment, you can expect a complete Food Safety compliance audit. This is where a Food Safety consultant will identify your good practices as well as the hazards and risks that could leave your customers (and therefore your business) vulnerable.
You should expect a Food Safety assessment to result in an action plan that addresses non-compliance issues as well as areas where you could improve your existing controls. Your consultant should support you to develop an excellent standard of Food Safety procedures and help you implement them throughout your business.
What will a Food Safety Consultant look at?
In order to complete a full audit of your Food Safety procedures, your food safety consultant will need total transparency and full access to the following areas of your business:
- Your suppliers
- Delivery and receipt procedures
- Storage procedures
- Preparation, production, cooking and service processes
- Hygiene practices
- Cleanliness practices
- Maintenance procedures
- Pest control policies
- HACCP procedures
- Training records
A Food Safety Consultant will then support you to create a Food Safety Management System that is compliant with all Food Safety legislation and regulations. Rolling this system out throughout your business would then be the next step, and your consultant may recommend either in-house or external Food Safety and Hygiene Training to bring your employees up to speed.
As well as coming into your business as a pre-emptive exercise, a Food Safety Consultant can also be hired to undertake an independent investigation into any Food Safety breaches or complaints.
The benefit of hiring a Food Safety Consultant in these circumstances is that your willingness to shed light on the scenario demonstrates your commitment and willingness to ensure due diligence.
If your business was unfortunately in receipt of a food poisoning claim, bringing in a Food Safety Consultant to undertake an investigation into the alleged incident can ensure you’re asking the right questions and gathering the right information at the right time.
It can provide evidence to disprove a claim and be the difference between winning or losing a civil legal dispute. Also, it can uncover evidence that supports a defence of due diligence against legal action. It can also uncover liability and in that case prepare your business for how best to handle the implications.
The benefits of hiring a Food Safety Consultant
The key benefits of hiring a Food Safety Consultant are to fulfil your duties as a food business owner – to keep consumers safe from harm. As a secondary benefit, Food Safety consultancy is there to protect your business from punitive action and litigation.
A good Food Safety Consultant will work with relevant authorities to protect your business’s reputation. They can appeal to overturn decisions or rulings against you and appeal against a low food hygiene rating by providing independent evidence of higher standards.
Having insider knowledge of how Environmental Health Officers investigate and score your business can help you to achieve and maintain a high food hygiene rating, aiming for the full 5 stars every time.
Overall, the benefit of bringing in a Food Safety Consultant is peace of mind that you have optimised your business’s Food Safety standards and are achieving due diligence in all areas of your business going forward.
Save time and money in the long term
A Food Safety breach can affect your reputation as well as cost your business financially, furthermore it can cause you personal stress and put you at risk of a criminal conviction. The old saying that “you don’t know what you don’t know” means the doubt is always there at the back of every business owner’s mind. The stakes are high, and for that reason, we consider the support a Food Safety Consultant can offer to be priceless.
Take the first step towards raising your Food Safety standards by booking a consultation with us today.