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Thu 8th Jul 2010

Assembly Warn of Dangers of Not Following Food Safety Procedures

The Welsh Assembly revealed new guidelines for the prioritisation of food safety and food quality over low prices. Professor Hugh Pennington, an esteemed microbiologist, addressed the assembly urging for food safety to be taken seriously and that cutting costs could have serious implications for public health. Professor Pennington chaired the inquiry that followed the death of a five year old boy and the infection of 156 others with E-Coli 0157 on 2005. The Pennington enquiry of 2005 stated that children under 5 and elderly people over 75 are particularly vulnerable to E-Coli.

The Welsh E-Coli outbreak of 2005 was caused by contamination of raw meats with the E-Coli virus that is predominately found in the intenstines of sheep and cattle. The source of the contaminated meats was an abattoir J.E. Tudor & Sons Ltd which supplied John Tudor & Son, a butcher supplying many school and retirement homes. The blame was laid squarely on the shoulders of William Tudor, the Proprietor of John Tudor & Son. He was charged with serious and repeated breaches of Food Safety regulations. His crimes were failures to comply with cleaning and separation of meat regulations and falsifying the important safety records.

Professor Pennington found that there were many problems with procurement of food and food safety standards. Public bodies were criticised for choosing price over quality, the need to seek value for money was not denied but the necessities of quality and safety were said to be significantly more important. Failures of communication between public authorities caused confusion over who was ultimately responsible for food safety. Passing the buck is not an option when it comes to food safety as the very young and the very old are dramatically more susceptible to succumbing to infection and must be protected. Every member of staff that deals with food at any point along the production chain should be fully trained in order to minimise and hopefully eradicate the spread of dangerous bacteria.

E-Coli and many other bacteria are spread most quickly by human contact, so not washing hands and following personal cleanliness procedures is also an important issue when its comes to food hygiene.

The new guidelines published by the Welsh Assembly aim to prevent health disasters, such as the previous E-Coli outbreak, from reoccurring. The focus on quality and adherence to guidelines is to be put at the forefront of food safety initiatives.  There are a number of accredited training courses that will teach you food safety and help you and your business to avoid the tragic possibilities of bad food management. 

If you would like more information about the following topics please follow the respective links.

Food Hygiene courses - Covering everything from correct hand washing to basic food safety.

Food Safety training - Essential food safety training when working in the catering or food production industries

Food Safety Level 2 Trainin  - Food Safety Level 3 Courses - Food Safety Level 4 Courses
- Advancing training for those who work within the professions of catering or food production.  The information provided will take you up to the highest levels of food safety.

Advanced Food Safety Courses - For those who have worked in the relevant trades already and are looking to further their understanding of food safety.