The benefits of good food hygiene practices far outweigh the costs of poor hygiene practices. The benefits include:
A good reputation for the company. This is important for all businesses, especially in the catering industry. Word of mouth is a far better guarantee than any other marketing campaign.
Satisfied customers are a result of good hygiene practices. Safe food is served in a clean environment.
The clean environment provides good working conditions for staff, providing high staff morale, a healthy, happy, motivated work team and, to the company’s advantage, increased productivity.
If the company is part of a chain, there is increased brand protection. Many high street food retailers have a very good food safety record. The retailers may have branches throughout the country with similar records, thus protecting the brand.
Food safety is covered by legislation and the company with good food hygiene systems will remain within the legislation.
A clean kitchen will not attract pests, which bring with them other diseases.
Part of good food safety practices is to check all dates of food products and therefore there will be longer shelf life on products, due to date control.
There will be a reduced risk of food poisoning in a hygienically clean food premise.
Staff will be trained in Food Safety, covering all aspects of providing safe food to customers. The training will include an introduction to food safety, microbiology, food poisoning and foodborne diseases, personal hygiene, cross contamination, temperature control, food preservation, design and construction of food premises, food pests and how to control them, waste management, cleaning and disinfection and food safety legislation.
The training must be carried out by a trainer providing accredited qualifications. In the UK, food safety qualifications must be recognised by Ofqual, Dcells, Ccea and form part of the QCF. If they are not recognised by these educational bodies they will not be accepted by environmental health departments, employers or customers. Training is the most important part of any business, especially the food industry, where an untrained person can literally kill a customer. Always ensure training is carried out by an accredited trainer delivering accredited qualifications.
Some training companies will offer online courses leading to a food safety qualification. Beware if the courses are of less than 6 hours duration, which is the recommended study time by the main qualification awarding bodies, including Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC). All HABC accredited qualifications are recognised by the above educational bodies in the UK.
The costs of poor food hygiene include food poisoning, which could result in death, food complaints, brand damage, loss of business, closure, fines and legal costs, compensation claims, pest infestations, waste food, low staff morale, loss of production and high staff turnover, or loss of staff.