News

Mandatory display of food hygiene ratings is being called for by the Local Government Association. The association argues that evidence shows that FHRS has hugely improved hygiene standards in food outlets in Wales and Northern Ireland and that England needs to catch up.

Also on a food theme, the tragic death of a 15-year-old in North West London following a severe allergic reaction to sesame seeds in a Pret a Manger baguette has highlighted a glaring deficiency in EU allergen labelling regulations. The loophole must be closed, argues CIEH, joining calls from the girl’s family.

European legislation, too, is behind a ‘noise health check’ that has been asked for in England under the EU Environmental Noise Directive. Defra is seeking views in a consultation.

Meanwhile, the US has experienced a large-scale egg recall due to a salmonella outbreak that has made 38 people ill and put ten in hospital. The eggs involved were sold as ‘free range’.

CIEH has long campaigned for cleaner air and is delighted that Oxford City Council’s clean air charter campaign, run with Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth, has attracted the support of Southampton City Council. It has agreed to sign the charter, and is asking more councils to join them.

CIEH will also welcome the news that changes to housing rules introduced this month will lead to further protection for to the public, thanks to the extension of mandatory HMO licencing to include 170,000 more properties and new minimum spaced standards, designed to reduce overcrowding.

A review into changes to RIDDOR brought in five years ago has highlighted that a number of rarer occupational health conditions are now being missed. The review proposes that this be rectified and calls for the number of non-workers involved in accidents reported under RIDDOR to be reduced.

EHPs are only too aware of the dangers from members of the public that can be attached to their job. A farmer who assaulted an EA officer and threatened to kill his family and burn his house down has been ordered to pay almost £4,000 and given a 12-month conditional discharge.

Article reference: http://www.ehn-online.com/news/article.aspx?id=17375

The Food Standards Agency launched National Food Safety Week on Monday and this year’s theme is the work of its staff making sure our food is safe.

The idea is for the awareness week to shine a light on the people who protect the food supply chain and ensure food safety and those tackling food crime. The slogan being used this year is 'the people who protect your plate'.

Lots of this work is carried out in partnerships with local authorities and many have jumped on-board the campaign, particularly on social media. On Twitter #FoodSafetyWeek has its own hashtag.

East Hampshire District Council, for example, celebrated its environmental health team on Twitter with a dancing food gif while Wigan Council put out a video trailing one of its EHOs explaining how it has improved food hygiene ratings in its area.

Lots of councils tweeted pictures of premises with poor hygiene that they had inspected and improved, as well as helpful tips for the public about the difference between ‘use-by’ and ‘best-before’.

The awareness week even picked up some attention on Facebook and Instagram with pictures of fresh food, the food hygiene rating card, and more tips of food safe storage. But Twitter was the place to be.

Food Standards Agency CEO Jason Feeney said: ‘The UK has globally respected food standards, and our food and drink is rightly regarded as some of the safest in the world. More than one billion food products are sold every week.

‘It’s the responsibility of every food business – from abattoirs to corner shops, Michelin-starred restaurants to your favourite take-away – to comply with food regulations.

‘This week we want to recognise the behind-the-scenes people throughout the food chain who work hard every day of the year to make sure businesses follow the rules and our food standards remain high.’

Article reference: https://cieh-mail.org/1RSV-5OHEY-B873YT-35TUBD-1/c.aspx

November 2018 update regarding the news article below:

"We are extremely proud to provide an update to our previous story and to report that our Food Safety trainer Joan Goodger, has now successfully completed her Great Wall of China walk, and in so doing has helped to raise over £60,000 for ACORNS Children's Hospice.

Very well done Joan, from all at Premier Training Services!!"

wall china walk premier training services     premier training services charity walk


Article reference: https://bromsgrovestandard.co.uk/news/rubery-grandmother-to-take-on-great-wall-of-china-in-memory-of-son-and-in-aid-of-acorns/ 

A RUBERY grandmother is walking the Great Wall of China in October in memory of her son and to raise £3,000 for Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Joan Goodger, 61, lost her son Paul in 1995 at the age of 12 after he was diagnosed with an in-operable brain tumour four years earlier.

During those years volunteers from Acorns supported the Goodger family and helped them deal with the grief afterwards.

Mrs Goodger said: “Paul went from a cradle to a coffin in 12 short years. I was not expecting to arrange a funeral for my own son.”

He was the eldest of four boys and also left three sisters behind.

Mrs Goodger added: “You hope you will never need Acorns’ services – it’s unimaginable – but at the same time I’m so thankful it’s in place for anyone who does.

“I have three healthy grandchildren who, thankfully, do not need support but there are many children out there who still do.”

Mrs Goodger is taking the trek along the Great Wall of China very seriously, with training already under way.

She has started walking up and down the Malvern Hills with a Snowdonia guide, who plans to get her fit and ready.

The hospice in Selly Oak, where Paul passed away, donated a statue of a little boy to Mrs Goodger who said she still ‘treasured it’ and was ‘so thankful’ for the gift as it would remind her of Paul when she began the trek.

“Right now I am not fit and will need to train hard for this challenge.

“I will do it thinking of my son the whole way. He was a brave and inspirational child.”

Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joan-goodger for more information or to donate.

Joan's Great Wall of China Trek

I am walking the Great Wall of China Trek for Acorns Children's Hospice Trust because my son Paul died in Acorns & I want to give back.

Read the full story here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joan-goodger

Ref: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joan-goodger

The Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland are today publishing details of a major review into the sites where meat products are processed and stored in the UK.

Food Standards Scotland and Food Standards Agency announce:

  • Launch of comprehensive review of hygiene controls
  • Review includes unannounced inspections and audit regimes
  • Food Standards Agency announce:
  • Work with industry to implement CCTV across cutting plants
  • Increased intelligence gathering through audit data sharing pilots across industry
  • Improved insight into circumstances and factors leading to non-compliances and ability to anticipate them


Announcement in detail:

Also published today is the FSA’s update to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s inquiry into standards in poultry processing and the findings of the FSA’s investigation into 2 Sisters Food Group.

Jason Feeney and Geoff Ogle, Chief Executives of the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland respectively, jointly commented:

“We are concerned about recent instances of companies breaching hygiene rules. People rightly expect food businesses to keep to the rules, rules designed to keep consumers safe and to sustain public trust in food - and food businesses have a duty to follow the regulations. Our review will be far reaching and thorough and we will announce our initial findings in June.”

“We are pleased that the meat industry representatives who we met with have pledged their full and effective engagement with the review.”

The review being launched today will aim to:

  • Increase public and stakeholder confidence in the meat industry and its regulation
  • Improve the ability to identify non-compliance and take prompt action to minimise the risk to public health and food safety
  • Assess how the industry currently operates across the whole supply chain.
  • Increase awareness of circumstances and factors which can lead to non-compliance
  • The scope of the review will incorporate:
  • All types of cutting plants (red meat, white meat and game)
  • How the current legislation works and the guidance supporting it
  • How the ‘official controls’ are carried out which must be followed to ensure compliance with hygiene legislative requirements (this includes audits, inspections, sampling and surveillance)
  • The roles and responsibilities of food businesses, regulators and assurance bodies
  • How incidents are managed and responded to


Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry and findings from 2 Sisters Food Group investigation

Assurance bodies, 2 Sisters Food Group and the FSA have also responded to recommendations made by the Parliamentary inquiry into poultry cutting plants. We have also published the outcome of FSA’s investigation into allegations of food hygiene and standards breaches at 2 Sisters.

In response to the inquiry the FSA will work with industry on a voluntary protocol for adoption of CCTV in meat processing plants and will consult on legislating to implement them if necessary.

FSA will also be running pilots to improve data and intelligence sharing across the industry and is pursuing increased investigatory powers for the National Food Crime Unit.

The investigation into 2 Sisters Food Group has been extensive and thorough and looked across their poultry sites.

500 hours of CCTV from the site were examined along with audit information from major retailers. The company voluntarily ceased production at one site whilst changes were made and staff re-trained. The FSA have had a permanent presence at their cutting plants for the last four months.

Jason Feeney, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency said:

“Our investigation found some areas for improvement but the issues were resolved promptly by the company, who co-operated fully, and at no point did we find it necessary to take formal enforcement action.”

“The business has made a wide range of improvements across all their sites to improve processes. They are already publishing the outcomes of all their audits and are in the process of installing high quality CCTV across their estate that we will have full access to. These are measures we would like the whole industry to adopt.”

Reference: https://www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/news/2018/16956/industry-wide-review-launched-into-meat-processing-plants-across-the-uk

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