ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published guidance for employers, employees, and the self-employed within the food industry. The guidance is to help understand safe working practices during the coronavirus pandemic.

No matter whether it’s more traditional food production, or modern foodtech facilities, the guidance focusses on hygiene practices and requirements that must be adhered to by businesses and people.

The FSA has suggested that business owners should ensure risk assessments address the risks of COVID-19, using the government social distancing guidance to inform decisions and control measures.

Food manufacturers

The guidance states that food manufacturers are required to implement and maintain hygiene procedures based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

It notes that manufacturers should consider the need for additional verification of existing controls or validation of any new controls that have been introduced. Any changes need to be documented to be presented to the relevant food authority or the FSA.

The guidance includes the following:

• Food manufacturers should ensure that materials passed their use-by date are disposed of properly
• Stock checked for damage and check temperature control records
• They should ensure that any new suppliers or contractors meet requirements. This should be specified in their HACCP or HACCP-based Food Safety Management System (FSMS)
• Manufacturers should check that they have stocks of cleaning chemicals and personal protective equipment (PPE)
• If suppliers or ingredients have changed, food manufacturers will need to review their allergen management and labelling in line with their HACCP or HACCP-based FSMS
• Machinery and equipment that has been idle may need inspection and testing to ensure it is capable of normal function.
• By law, food business operators must ensure that food handlers receive the appropriate supervision and training in food hygiene

The guidance also advises on the use of PPE in the food industry for the protection of workers, and to prevent contamination of food during production.

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