When you are looking for somewhere to eat in Glasgow, it can be hard to choose a restaurant to visit as there are so many. Often, we listen to recommendations from friends and look up reviews online to help us make a decision. One of the top priorities on many people’s list, is that the restaurant they eat in is clean. It seems like something that would be expected of any restaurant you visit. However, there is an increasing number of restaurants not meeting food hygiene requirements in Glasgow. One in five restaurants in Glasgow currently has an ‘Improvement Required’ rating. So being selective about the restaurants you visit is advised.
What Are Food Hygiene Standards?
Food hygiene standards are a set of industry guidelines that restaurants, and anywhere else that serves or handles food, is expected to abide by in order to ensure that the safety of the consumers and staff. Food hygiene standards are crucial for anybody who works with food as part of their job. It ensures that the food served, or produced, is safe to be eaten. Adhering to these standards prevents cross-contamination, food waste, food poisoning and allergic reactions. Food hygiene standards cover everything from washing your hands, to storing food at the correct temperature.
If these standards are not met, then the consumers are at risk of food poisoning and allergic reactions. It should be a priority within all restaurants to ensure that they are meeting food hygiene regulations, as customers’ safety needs to be at the heart of what they do.
How Do I Know if a Restaurant Meets Food Hygiene Standards?
When you are choosing your restaurant, it can be tricky to know where to look for cleanliness ratings and with the rise in poor food hygiene inspection results, it can be difficult to know whether you have made the right choice. This is concerning, but do not fear, there is a simple way to check that your restaurant of choice is up to a decent standard of cleanliness. Restaurants are now independently assessed in their food hygiene standards, the results of which are posted online for all to see. A quick visit to https://www.foodstandards.gov.scot/ will show you whether a restaurant has passed its most recent inspection or not.
The simple pass/fail system will allow you to see instantly whether a restaurant is clean. If you would like more information, you can also find out when a restaurant’s last inspection was. This can be a useful little bit of information when making your decision.
What Should I Do if I Believe a Restaurant Is Not Meeting Food Hygiene Standards?
If you visit a restaurant and you believe it does not meet regulations, you can report this through the Food Standards website in the previous section. You can also report this to your local authority through contact details found on this website. It is important that any instances of uncleanliness, contamination or any poor hygiene practices are reported in order for them to be rectified.
How Can I Improve Food Hygiene in a Restaurant I Own or Work In?
This is a question that gets asked very regularly. Improving food hygiene practices is a simple enough thing to do, if you have the knowledge required. It is hard to improve your hygiene standards if you do not know what you are working towards. I would therefore recommend training. There are so many good training providers out there than can provide a whole host of different training courses for staff at all levels. Many of these courses can be completed online too, which is a bonus.
The law states that all those working with or around food must be appropriately trained in food hygiene standards, but it does not give any specific requirements of courses and certifications. Therefore, it is up to an individual business to prove that staff are trained to an adequate level. Training should be renewed at least every five years in order to ensure staff are up to date and refreshed.
Once the training has been completed, the information provided during the training must be implemented into the setting. This can take a little time to get right, but once it is done the kitchen will work much more smoothly. Managers should create a food hygiene policy that all staff should stick to and this will benefit all those involved.
What You Need to Know…
Failed food hygiene inspections in Glasgow are rising year on year. There are many potential reasons for this, but arguably the main one is that food hygiene standards have become far more stringent in recent years, and for good reason too. The science of food hygiene is constantly evolving and therefore so are ‘best practices’. It can sometimes be hard to understand why your favourite restaurant failed their food inspection, but the reason is to keep the public safe. Those who deal with food have the responsibility to ensure the safety of those consuming the products and therefore standards are always increasing in order to prevent diseases and unhygienic practices.
A few last words
Whether you are a customer, a restaurant worker or a restaurant owner, food hygiene and safety should be a priority. The results of poor food hygiene can be detrimental, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we are all kept safe. If you are a customer, be sure to always check a restaurant’s food hygiene results and report any violations you see. If you are a restaurant worker or owner, ensure that your training is up to date and your restaurant is exhibiting best practices. Having a clean and safe restaurant is the main thing many customers look for, so keep this in mind when you are doing the training and implementing new practices. This will enable us all to visit restaurants and have a great time without worrying about staying safe. Food is something that brings people together, so let’s help it remain that way.
This is a guest post by Eve Johnson, who works at CPD Online College – they provide a range of CPD courses for different professions, including Food Hygiene. If you would like to submit content for Glasgow Foodelicious, get in touch to request our guest posting guidelines.