11 March 2019
Hotel guests, restaurant and festival patrons, hospital patients, students, sports fans and wedding guests all share one common expectation; that the food they are served has been safely stored, handled and prepared.
No matter how or where it’s eaten, adding a side order of food poisoning (food borne illness) is a sure way to ruin the opportunity for repeat business. It can also have a potentially long-lasting impact on the brands and overall bottom line of food service businesses.
In Asia Pacific, the average annual growth rate for eating out was almost 10% from 2006 and 2016. Looking forward, the market is expected to increase by more than 7% each year until 2026.1 As these rates continue upward, unless improved food safety practices are firmly in place, the rate of food related illness and deaths will too.
‘Many of the established food safety standards people might be familiar with include requirements that don’t apply to businesses that prepare food and serve it to the public. That makes implementing them more challenging and time consuming,’ explains David Horlock, Managing Director Global Food at BSI. ‘By addressing only the risks associated with food storage, preparation and handling, our new BSI Catering Food Safety scheme removes this considerable hurdle.’
The scheme helps food service businesses address regulatory requirements and can help demonstrate due diligence as a legal defence. It also provides a systematic approach to improve the efficiency and consistency of operations, address increasing consumer concerns around allergens, while reducing wastage and helping staff understand the importance of food safety. This type of education and involvement can help build a food safety culture which can help reduce the impact of the high turnover rates experienced in the food service industry.
The programme is also designed to help businesses that achieve certification promote their commitment to serving food safely. A special logo is available that they can use to show the public that they put a high priority on food safety. Whether it’s posted on a restaurant door, printed on menus or, in the case of professional caterers, promoted online, seeing the mark can reassure customers about their purchase decision and help even small restaurants stand out in crowded marketplace.
‘To help make it easier for all types of food service companies implement and understand a system like this, we have developed a self-assessment guide that businesses can use to consider their current food safety practices against where they need to be,’ says Horlock. Classroom-style training is also available to help organizations understand the required processes and systems and how to put them in place in place.
Horlock continues, ‘A well-known Thai hotel chain recently sent staff from locations across the country for training with us on this scheme because they wanted to make sure that the food their guests are served is not only delicious but also safe.’
Learn more about the BSI Catering Food Safety scheme.
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