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Decrease in UK Food Safety Training a ‘Ticking Time Bomb

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Decrease in UK Food Safety Training a ‘Ticking Time Bomb

August 27
12:04 2010

UK Food businesses are cutting back on food safety and hygiene training, according to a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).The survey, which took place in the second week of August was sent out to 5000 food safety trainers and training centres.

Around 50% of trainers thought the uptake of food safety training by food businesses was being negatively affected by the present economic climate. 70% identified ‘cost cutting’ as the main reason why businesses were not investing in training.

“This survey is cause for concern and if this trend continues public health could be put at risk – potentially triggering a food poisoning time bomb,” comments David Kidney, head of policy at CIEH. “The economic downturn has meant many businesses have had to rein in spending, which is understandable, but quality training needs to be seen as an investment which protects your staff, your business and your company’s reputation. A food poisoning outbreak can be the death knell for a food business and can have a myriad of consequences from reputational damage to business failure.”

In extreme cases failure to comply with food safety legislation can even result in a prison sentence and/or being prohibited from running a food business in future. In over a quarter of the prosecutions which have led to the business manager being prohibited since January 2009, failure to comply with the legislation on instruction and/or training was one of the offences.

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