With Allergy Awareness Week taking place last week, it seems timely to reflect on the recently updated advice on food allergens for catering and hospitality. The updated Catering Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice was launched in November and provides clear information on the legal obligations and practical requirements for all caterers to comply with food hygiene law. It also sets out good practice, that, although not legal requirements, are sound advice on achieving good food safety. The format of the Guide has also been simplified, to make it clearer for businesses to see what they need to do to be compliant.
One of the significant updates in the Guide is the section on Allergens, which now covers:
The Allergen good practice section also now includes information on:
In terms of other food hygiene regulations and best practice, the updated guide includes four new sections covering food crime, donating surplus/leftover food to charity, the freezing and defrosting of foods and the shelf-life of chilled, vacuum-packed meats. No doubt in response to changes in technology and food science, it is interesting to note that the updated guide now also includes additions on good practice on cleaning ice machines, guidance on substituted products and the simplification of the CCP (Critical Control Points) decision tree within your HACCP.
The 2022 update is endorsed by the Food Standards Agency in England as well as the national Food Agencies in the other three home nations, making regulations and advice easier to apply across borders. At a time when UK Government is reviewing the legislation ‘inherited’ from the EU, the guide ensures all the key information is in one place. The original guide was written in 1995 and reviewed in 2017. The 2022 version being available online will make future updates more straight-forward and therefore, probably, more regular.
It’s important to remember that the updated guide only refers to the Retained Regulation (EC) 852/2004 on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs. It does not cover the Food Information Regulations, for example, although there are useful links available in the document and relevant guidance. The 2019 update to the Food Information Regulations (‘Natasha’s Law’) updated the original 2014 Regulations, which we covered in an article last year
Leave your contact details to download your copy of the updated Catering Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice here.
Explore all of the Food Standards Agency’s Industry Guides here
The Food Standards Agency advice on allergens can be found here.
Test your knowledge with a food allergens quick quiz here.
Rod Carver - Level 3 Food Safety Attendee
Academy Training Manager