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Food Safety

5.5 million people fall victim to food poisoning every year, 76% of these were thought to be caused from eating out*



*Data provided by the Food Standards Agency


consequences

As a business owner you need to ensure you are not contributing to this figure.


If you, the food business owner, are found guilty of causing a food poisoning incident there are two likely consequences you will have to face:

 

  • A criminal prosecution brought about by the local enforcement team with consequences of:


    1. Fines of up to £20,000 per offense

    2. Up to 6 months imprisonment

  • A civil case brought against you by the affected persons. In a civil case the outcomes are less  certain. The Judicial Studies Board, an advisory body of judges, has recently issued guidelines on amounts payable for food poisoning:


    1. For relatively mild symptoms, such as cramps and diarrhoea for up to a few weeks, £500 to £2,000 will be allowed. 


    2. For more serious cases, where some symptoms drag on for a year or so, the figure is £2,000 to £5,000


  1. If bowel function and sex life is impaired for "a few years" the award can rise to £10,000.


  2. For the rare cases where there is a virtually permanent loss of enjoyment of life, up to £30,000 is recommended, but even that does not represent a ceiling where real and permanent disablement arises. 

Civil cases mean that barristers and solicitors have to be employed at costs of anything up to £1000 per day. A case can easily run up costs and awards of hundreds of thousands, or even millions of pounds.


If you are found to not be complying with the law, your insurance company might not cover you as you are not complying with the terms of the policy.


What do i need to know?

The main piece of legislation that relates to this area is the Food Safety Act (1990) as well as various Regulations and Codes of Practice such as Food Law Code of Practice (2012).

The essential information that you need to know is:

  1. All food preparation premises must be registered with the local Environmental Health Office 28 days prior to trading, in the area in which the unit is stored if mobile, or in the area you pay Council tax to.

  2. All persons coming into contact with food must be trained for the job they are doing (the level of training depends on the job) before they are allowed to work in the premises.

  3. You must put in place, implement and maintain a documented Food Safety / Hygiene Management System based on the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points).


How do I ensure that I operate legally?

You need to ensure that you have the right information, training and systems to operate safely and legally. 

NCASS have been operating in this industry for over 30 years and in that time have 'seen it and done it'.

We've used our vast industry experience to design systems and processes specifically to ensure that you are able to operate safely and legally - and they're all included FREE in your membership

Here's how we can help:


  • Training courses that can be done online saving you time, effort and money > Find out more

  • A Due Diligence System designed specifically for the Mobile Catering Industry > Find out more


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Latest News


Holiday entitlement for workers

by Amy Chandler | Feb 26, 2019
NCASS members can access specialist business support inclusive of their membership package.

With a majority of businesses resetting holiday entitlement in January, and staff beginning to book their 2019 breaks, it is worth taking a look at annual leave entitlement and understanding the rules to avoid any risk of disputes.

Generally speaking, there is no requirement for employers to offer paid leave for public holidays, yet there remains a lot of confusion around public holidays and pay. To provide clarity on the matter, Croner – the Nationwide Caterers Association’s trusted HR and employment law partner – explain UK bank holiday entitlements for different contract types below.

Bank Holiday Entitlement for Full-time Workers

UK bank holiday entitlement for full-time members of staff is dependent on the type of contract. Legally, individuals have 28 days or 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year. 

This entitlement does not have to include bank holidays, and paid leave for bank holidays is entirely at the discretion of the employer.

Bank Holiday Entitlement for Part-time Workers

Like full-time employees, part-time workers have no statutory right to bank holidays as paid leave. It's important to ensure parity between the two.

What’s most important is that you treat full-time workers and part-time workers equally. So if you allow one to have paid leave, so should the other.

Pro Rata Bank Holiday Entitlement

In a similar vein, you should not treat pro rata employees any more or less favourably than part time, or full time, workers.

The challenge with pro-rata staff members comes when they're working irregular hours.

There is no set formula for this, as long as you treat them equally and fairly, and have a policy set out in the employee contracts and handbook, you minimise any risk.

Bank Holiday Entitlement when off Sick

If a member of your team has bank holidays off as part of their entitled annual leave and is then sick on a public holiday, you should allow the employee to take the annual leave at a later time.

However, if the staff member has time off in addition to their entitled annual leave, and is then sick, what happens is dependent on the terms of their contract.

It isn’t unheard of for employees to feign illness when they are not entitled to paid leave. If you believe they're lying about their illness, you need to conduct a formal investigation and follow disciplinary procedure if necessary.

Making false accusations, or outright refusing to pay the employee SSP (if they’re entitled to it) is likely to result in a constructive dismissal claim.

Bank Holiday Entitlement on Maternity Leave

The first and most important to thing you need to consider when assessing holiday entitlement for an employee on maternity leave is this:

Current UK law entitles any individual on maternity leave to all the terms and conditions she normally has during the period she is absent from work.

You need to return to the staff member's contract for a conclusive answer. Are they normally entitled to paid public holidays?

If the answer is yes, then you should include those days in the employee’s entitlement.

If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t include those days as part of their annual leave. And they won’t accrue them during their time off on maternity leave.

Expert Advice

NCASS members have access to expert business support and specialist advice from Croner.

Get in touch with your Account Manager for more information.

Not yet a member of NCASS? Visit our membership pages here.