BHA launches Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice

5th July 2016

Food and hygiene safety experts will launch the long-awaited new guide to good hygiene practice in the catering industry on Monday, July 11.

The Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering 2016, which is recognised by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, will help businesses serve food that's safe to eat.

The official launch will be marked by speakers including Catherine Brown, CEO at the Food Standards Agency and leading food safety experts and representatives from the hospitality industry.

Recent high-profile food hygiene cases have put the issue of food safety firmly in the spotlight. None more than that of a restaurateur who was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence in May after a diner died from a severe peanut allergy in his restaurant.

Keeping up with the latest regulations on food safety can be an unwelcome extra burden for those working in the catering industry. But the consequences can be catastrophic if those preparing food and drink for large numbers of people get it wrong. However, it can be sometimes difficult to interpret what the law really means in practice.

That's why the updated Industry Guide to compliance and best practice will be invaluable to anyone working in catering. The easy to use 70-page, A4 guide will be available from Monday (July 11) - details on how to buy a copy of the guide can be found below.

There will also be a unique, interactive app that will allow users to search the guide by topics.

The new Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering 2016 is the first update to the guidelines for 20 years.

It has been put together by a team of food safety and risk experts from the British Hospitality Association. They have been working with the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, to revise this important guide.

Professor Lisa Ackerley, Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner and food expert for the BHA said: "This long-awaited Guide provides an essential standard for food safety to help food businesses understand what is required of them, and will help drive improved consistency of enforcement and third party inspections in the catering industry. Finally we have a level playing field for all."

FSA Chief Executive Catherine Brown said: "I welcome the publication of the BHA's Catering Industry Guide, which is clear, easy to use, and based on the advice of BHA's food safety experts.  It's vital that food businesses have systems in place to keep their customers safe, and the guide will provide caterers with practical advice on how to comply with their responsibilities under food hygiene legislation."

Food Standards Scotland Chief Executive, Geoff Ogle, said: "The catering sector has an important part to play in protecting public health, through provision of safe food and in contributing to Scotland's economy.  Compliance is good for consumers and good for business, so we welcome the new Catering Industry Guide as a user-friendly tool to support businesses across the catering sector with practical advice on hygiene compliance."

Jenny Morris, Head of The Institute of Food Safety Integrity and Protection said: "We have been waiting a long time for this essential Industry guide. It will be invaluable to both the catering industry and enforcement officers as it gives advice on what compliance with the law looks like. This will help greatly in building understanding of legal requirements and will promote industry good practice. So I would recommend that every catering business gets a copy and makes sure that they are following its advice in day to day operations."

She added: "I expect it to be used extensively by local authorities and it may also prove extremely useful for any business that wants to improve its food hygiene rating score."

Darryl Thomson, Head of Safety, Mitchells & Butlers said: "The Catering Guide will provide food businesses with much needed clarity and a useful benchmark of legal compliance.  Businesses will be able to compare their own food safety policies and practices, as well as target changes to achieve the most efficient and effective means of compliance.  These tools will support a culture of best practice specific to operators and ultimately help improve standards across the industry."

Stuart Kelly Managing Director of BHA's compliance partner Acoura said of the catering guide; "Food safety is very much in the public eye right now and it's imperative that hospitality providers ensure they follow best practice at all times in an effort to protect their customers, staff and brand from harm. This updated guide is not only comprehensive but also practical and from a food safety perspective an essential tool for anyone involved in the sector."

The guide gives advice and guidance to caterers on how to comply with their legal obligations.
But just as important are the suggestions the guide makes for best industry practice thus guiding the industry to achieving the highest standards.

The guide includes:

·         Information to be taken into account by Local Authority enforcement officers when carrying out inspections of your business

·         The requirements of "How to comply with the law"

·         Guidance to achieve the top score in the respective national Hygiene Ratings Scheme

·         Requirements for premises and equipment

·         Food hygiene and safety procedures

·         Food safety management procedures and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) systems

·         Advice on training requirements for different levels of staff

·         Best practice arrangements that businesses may choose to implement beyond the scope of the law

·         Advice on how to comply with the allergen requirements of the Food Information for Consumers Regulation 2014

The guide will be available in hard copy (unit price £16 exc.VAT), as a downloadable PDF unit price (£10 exc.VAT) and via the unique BHA interactive app.

To pre-order your copy of the Guide, or to attend the launch, please register on the BHA website:

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Acoura, The Royal Society for Public Health and Highfield will also be selling the hard copy guide on behalf of the BHA.

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