How To Achieve A 5* Food Hygiene Rating
Every day the team at STS work alongside food businesses to boost their food hygiene rating and their standards. Some of our team are ex-environmental health practitioners, so we know what works, what doesn't, the do's and the don'ts. Our top 5 tips we would like to share with you are:
- Make sure that you know what the last EHO inspection report(s) said, and that you have actioned everything on your last EHO report. Make sure the same items won't crop up again, especially legal requirements. The "confidence in management" score which affects your food hygiene rating will be influenced by how you have responded to previous advise given to you by the EHO - they will look at your previous reports/history on file before they come to do your inspection, and will expect their advice to have been actioned.
- Well organised, self explanatory filing system is a must, so get organised! Sod's law says that the EHO will arrive when you are on your day off. So be prepared and make sure the operation can run and host an inspection without you. Make sure all duty managers know the HACCP system, where to find everything and that all records are accessible and not under lock and key. One care home STS work with slid from a food hygiene rating of 5 to 4 just because the training records were locked away!
- Make sure your staff are trained up to date, to the correct level, and they are on the ball with key aspects of your HACCP e.g. critical temperatures. Staff meetings are a great opportunity to refresh knowledge. Supervise and observe staff to make sure correct procedures and practices are being followed, and if not take action.
- Don't wait for the EHO to discover an accumulation of dirt hidden away in a neglected corner or under/behind equipment, use a powerful torch to check cleaning in dark, awkward places. Also, make sure any structural or equipment defects are reported and corrected as far as possible. Remember around a third of your food hygiene rating marks are for cleanliness and structure.
- A well designed documented food safety management system based on HACCP is a fundamental requirement that will affect your food hygiene rating. If you are not confident that your system hits the spot or needs an overhaul why not contact STS? Our documentation is well regarded by EHO's, very user friendly and tailored to your business!
Remember that the 3 criteria which your EHO will be assessing are hygiene, structure, and confidence in management.
Having an effective programme of internal and external audits in place is also a great way to strengthen standards.
For more tips on how to reach that 5 star hygiene rating, call us today on 01252 728 300