🍄 eGR - Autumn edition - News and updates for your food business 🍂

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9th Edition - Autumn 2017

The evenings draw in and start to get cold, the leaves on the trees begin to turn gold, all these signs that the summer grows old. But do not despair or show dissatisfaction, because its time for the latest edition of E-Gut Reaction.

In this edition - we look at how to avoid being implicated in rural crime, accident reporting, cooking oil, child employment law and point you in the direction of some useful resources to help you comply with allergen law. 

Forest land

Rural Crime

The UK's fields, hedgerows, woodlands and seas contain a smorgasbord of tasty morsels for any forager or hunter. 

High market value items such as mushrooms, game meat and scallops offer tempting financial incentives for inexperienced collectors who have no regard for the damage that they cause to your business or the environment.

Anyone who is collecting, preparing or selling wild foods for commercial purposes must be aware of the laws and dangers of doing so or run the risk of breaking the law and fatally poisoning their customers.

All food businesses are obliged to check the traceability of their foods. Especially wild foods such as mushrooms and scallops, which may require expert identification and/or preparation by an approved supplier, to avoid or remove poisons and contamination which could prove fatal if eaten.

Suppliers must provide you with this information on the foods that they supply, including where the product has come from. Poorly butchered meats that lack health marks and other foods without traceability may be stolen and you should treat these with suspicion.

If you suspect that you have been offered stolen or misidentified goods should contact the Environmental Health food team on 01202 261700 or Crime stoppers.

Emergency  Room

Reporting Accidents at Work

Under the “Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)” all businesses should record all accidents and near misses at work in an accident book. This will give you a working record which will help you identify and manage trends. Not all accidents need to be formally reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE); only when the accident is work related and certain injuries are sustained will you need to complete an on-line report at www.hse.gov.uk/riddor.

Injuries that must be reported are:

  • Deaths
  • Fractures (other than fingers, thumbs or toes)
  • Serious burns that cover more than 10% of the body
  • Unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxiation.
  • Any injury where an employee is away from work or unable to perform their normal work duties for more than 7 days as a result of an accident at work, (not counting the day it happened).

A report must be made if a member of the public is injured due to your work premises or activities and is taken from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital as a precaution in relation to a non-work related condition such as heart attack or when no injury is apparent.

For further information visit the HSE website.

Cooking Oil

Cooking Oil


As a food business, you have a legal duty to dispose of waste cooking oil properly. Waste oil must be collected by an authorised operator and you must be able to prove that you have disposed of your waste legally. Many collectors provide you with a financial incentive in exchange for your oil.

Waste oil must never be poured down drains as it can lead to blockages, cause odour and create pest issues. It must also not be put in with your normal catering waste as it may spill, cause pollution problems and contractors may not collect it. It is important to store waste oil in suitable lidded containers to avoid spillages and prevent pests.

Genetically modified oil

Food retailers and caterers have a duty to inform their customers if any foods contain or are produced using genetically modified organisms. One of the most common genetically modified foods found in the UK are vegetable oils made from for example genetically modified soya.

You should check the labels of the oils that you are using to see if they contain any genetically modified organisms. This information will be in the list of ingredients or if there is no ingredients list then it will be in a general statement on the label. If the oil is genetically modified then this information MUST be made known to your customers.

For example: Scampi and Chips £7.95 (GM*)
(*GM - cooked in vegetable oil produced from genetically modified Soya)


Child Employment law

Holiday and part time jobs provide an opportunity for children to gain work experience and a chance to earn some extra pocket money. For many businesses child employment can provide a temporary boost to their workforce in response to the increase in trade. Employing anyone under the age of 18 can provide advantages and opportunities for all involved however there are key points you should be aware of:

  • You MUST carry out a risk assessment for all young persons BEFORE they start work;
  • Each age group has its own restrictions and a work permit maybe required;
  • Children must NOT work before 7am or after 7pm, during school hours or for more than 1 hour before they go to school.

Further advice can be found at: poole.gov.uk & gov.uk/child-employment

Wheat field

Allergens - What you NEED to know

There are 14 allergens that need to be identified if they are used as ingredients in a dish.

All food businesses are obliged to provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in foods sold or provided by them. There are also requirements for businesses which are providing loose food, such as supermarket food counters, delicatessens, restaurants and takeaways.

This information needs to be listed clearly in an obvious place such as a menu, chalkboard or an information pack. If it is not provided in the public area, you will need to signpost where allergen information can be obtained, either in written or oral formats.

Failure to supply such information could result in the business facing civil and legal action.

Allergen advice, information and resources, including translations into Punjabi, Urdu, Simplified Chinese and Bengali, can be found on the FSA website.