Birmingham German Markets Questioned Over Food Hygiene
Something that everyone looks forward to at this time of year is the German markets that spring up in towns and cities across the UK. But it’s important for businesses serving food at these markets to make food safety and hygiene a top priority, given the sheer volume of people that will be passing by and sampling their produce.
According to the Birmingham Mail, health inspectors from Birmingham City Council recently visited the local markets and issued two stalls with fail notices. Out of the 40 that were on site, 12 stalls needed minor improvements and 26 passed the inspection.
The Hot Chestnuts stall in Victoria Square was one that was given a fail notice, penalised because of dirty equipment, a lack of hand soap and hot water, and insufficient proofing against pests. However, Andy Hayes – who works on the stall – told the news source they believe the council was wrong to give them such a penalty.
“They had an issue with the fact we boiled water in an anti-bacterial plastic bowl in a self-contained hygiene unit rather than had a sink with running hot water. But this is the system that I’ve used for many years as a mass caterer. We had to go out and pay £250 for a stainless steel sink when we know they are not anti-bacterial,” he said.
Similarly, a few years ago a food vendor working at the Lincoln Christmas Market was actually prosecuted and fined £2,215 for breaching food hygiene regulations while operating on the site. Apparently, the hog roast stall in question didn’t have adequate handwashing or drying facilities for members of staff. The only facility for handwashing was a bucket of warm and dirty water – tests carried out later found the water had more than 12 million bacteria in it, some 40,000 times above the level acceptable for handwashing water.
As you can see, it’s vital that you and your business make health and safety, and food hygiene a top priority when working at any kind of market, whether it’s the Christmas ones or otherwise. One of the best ways of doing this is by going on a course like the CIEH level 2 food safety for catering course that we run here at Learning Plus.
We actually have seven food safety courses on offer, so you can find which one is best suited to you and your business requirements. The level 2 food safety compliance course would be suitable for those working with food in a catering setting where produce is prepared, cooked and handled. The elearning course itself costs £24.99 and features interactive questions and activities, PDF summaries you can print, an end of course test and a certificate of completion.
If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us today to have a chat with our friendly and experienced team.