A large food-led pub was given a meagre two stars for its official food hygiene rating. They decided to call Venners to help them manage their food safety better and to increase their food hygiene level.
The Manager of the pub had been noticing an increased number of customer complaints. When the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) came for an unannounced inspection soon after, the manager knew that his pub’s food safety standards were at an all-time low. With a poor hygiene level he decided immediate action was necessary.
When the EHO inspected the pub’s kitchen everything appeared clean in the first instance. However, upon closer inspection the kitchen’s hygiene level appeared to be quite the opposite. The EHO also found that there was a lack of traceable paperwork, making it near impossible to check any of the venue’s previously taken steps to ensure that its cleanliness standards were up to scratch.
On top of this, certain areas of the kitchens’ food safety procedures and HACCP gave serious cause for concern. Following the review of the pub’s staff training, which was considered substandard at best, the EHO deemed the business vulnerable and was left with no option but to give the pub just 2 stars for its food hygiene level.
In order to assess the extent of the problems, Venners carried out an initial exhaustive audit. This revealed that although due diligence and monitoring systems were actually in place, they were not being adhered to or completed. Food was also not being systematically dated.
Further investigation showed that a key problem to their food safety management strategy was the fact that the kitchen had been manned predominantly by agency staff for some time. The manager of the pub had assumed that the agency chefs were using the generic systems in place because the agency had claimed all their staff had been trained in food hygiene.
However, no one had explained the food safety procedures to the agency staff, who were therefore not following the systems that were set in place. As a result no one was even carrying out a daily check on kitchen standards.
Our food safety consultants spent time coaching the agency staff on the system in place and the procedures they should follow. They also introduced a management checklist and worked with the pub’s Manager on how to use this checklist to check the standards on a daily basis. The agency staff were also given an Induction paper to raise and keep standards high across the team.
Almost immediately customer complaints ceased. At the next inspection the EHO was completely satisfied with the kitchen and upgraded their overall food hygiene rating from two, to five out of five. Confidence among management and staff is at an all-time high and business is booming.
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