Food Inspection: Are the professionals ready?

Effective food inspection is inextricably linked to an inspector’s understanding of the core hazards associated with individual foods. Although spoilage can usually be determined through a simple organoleptic assessment, the judgment of whether a food is fit for human consumption requires a deeper evaluation of the health hazards.

Madeleine Smith, reader in food safety at University of Birmingham, says “The spectacular development of the food industry in the past 40 years has provided new challenges and opportunities in the area of food inspection. It is important that the training of inspectors reflects these developments.”

In 1993, Madeleine qualified as an environmental health officer before working for Birmingham City Council. She joined the University of Birmingham in 1997 to provide the professional practice element to the MSc in Environmental Health. Since then Madeleine has designed and developed a number of postgraduate, undergraduate and CPD courses in food safety, building the Food Safety Group up to its current level. In addition to award-bearing courses, the group offers specialist short courses to competent authorities in the UK and overseas as well as to the food industry.

We are delighted to announce that Madeleine will be speaking at Highfield’s Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference on 13 June at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. In her presentation Are the professionals ready? Current competency and future needs, she will discuss the implications of food inspection evaluations and the necessity for inspectors to understand risk points attributable to complex food supply chains.

Other topics to be discussed at the food safety conference include key challenges and legislative changes as well as media issues and the implications of Brexit, as the food industry comes to terms with ever-greater scrutiny and reputational risk.

Find the full line-up of industry-leading speakers on our website foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk. Take advantage of the early bird offer and save £55 on the price of your ticket! Early bird offer ends 31 March so don’t delay! Book your ticket here.

Food safety: Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – the drive for transparency

Continuing our series of blogs focusing on the line-up of top industry speakers presenting at the Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference on 13 June in Birmingham, we spoke to John Barnes, Director at Enmoore Ltd, to find out what topics he’ll be discussing at the food safety conference.

In addition to his role as a Director at Enmoore Ltd, John is also a Strategic Advisor to the Shield Safety Group and a visiting lecturer in food safety at the University of Birmingham. Until 2015 John was Head of Local Delivery at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and in that same year, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of The Society of Food Hygiene Technology (SOFHT) for his exceptional contribution to food hygiene and safety.

An environmental health officer by profession, John has extensive experience negotiating and implementing EU food law and chairing international meetings on food safety controls. He was part of the senior FSA team leading the response to the 2013 horsemeat incident and responsible for establishing its Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS).

In his presentation Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – the drive for transparency – current issues, what next? John will discuss how the FSA have pushed for greater openness and transparency since its launch in 2000, seeing this as an effective way to drive behaviour change in the food industry. The FHRS has resulted in a significant improvement in the UK hygiene standard, with calls for a mandatory display in England similar to the arrangements in Wales and NI.

“FHRS has undoubtedly had a major impact on food businesses and significantly improved hygiene standards. Industry can expect continued pressure to improve transparency and information to both consumers and regulators. The presentation will cover the background to this: current FHRS safeguards for businesses, issues with delaying implementation of mandatory display of FHRS in England and what to expect in the near future.” John Barnes.

Find the full line-up of speakers and topics to be discussed at the conference on our website foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk. Take advantage of our early bird offer and save £55 on the price of your ticket! Early bird offer ends 31 March. Book your ticket here.

Food safety: Regulating our future – key changes for the industry and regulators

This June will see Highfield’s Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference take place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. 

And as part of the build up to what promises to be the biggest and best food safety conference in the UK in 2019, we’re profiling our line up of top speakers and looking at what issues and topics they will be discussing.

Michael Jackson is the Head of Regulatory Compliance at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and has been working full time on the FSA’s Regulating Our Future programme since it was set up in February 2016.  He leads the teams developing the new delivery model for food law regulation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Prior to moving to this programme, Michael was Head of Local Authority Policy and Delivery within the FSA’s Northern Ireland office, where he was responsible for developing a wide range of legislation and policy in relation to food safety and food standards. He has been involved with the development and operation of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme since 2009 and led the project to make the display of ratings at food establishments a statutory requirement in Northern Ireland.

At the conference, Michael will be presenting an update on the progress that the FSA has made to transform the way the food industry is regulated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, highlighting those developments that are currently being rolled out into the regulatory model that will impact both local authorities and the food industry, and the key priorities for further work in 2019 and 2020.

Michael said, ‘The FSA is committed to transforming the way that the food industry is regulated and our aim is to develop a new model that is modern, risk-based, proportionate, robust and resilient. Throughout the project, we had adopted an open policy, testing our plans publicly with key stakeholders and this even presents an excellent opportunity to discuss progress and next steps’.

The Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference takes place on 13 June 2019. For more information on the conference or to book your place, go to http://foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: Hear from world-leading experts at the Highfield food safety conference

The future of food safety in today’s ever-changing environment is on the agenda this summer as some of the UK’s top experts gather to deliver their verdict on the state of the industry at this Highfield food safety conference.

Improving Food Safety in a Changing World is the must-attend conference of 2019, and will focus on the key challenges, legislative changes, media issues and, inevitably, Brexit, as the industry comes to terms with ever-greater scrutiny and reputational risk.

food safety conference 2019Aimed at anyone working in food retail, manufacturing or the food service sectors, as well as tutors and environmental health practitioners, key topics will include:

  • what Brexit means for the sector
  • food safety in the media
  • improving food safety in practice
  • effectively implementing ever-changing regulations
  • forthcoming challenges and issues in food safety

The conference is being hosted by Highfield Qualifications, the UK’s leading awarding organisation for food safety qualifications, in partnership with The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology, the Institute of Food Science and Technology, and RHE Global.

Chaired by Highfield Chairman Richard Sprenger, author of Hygiene for Management and The Food Safety Handbook, the conference will feature presentations from:

Richard Sprenger, Highfield Chairman, said, ‘In a fast-changing world keeping up to date with major food safety issues that may impact on your livelihood and your business, and the opportunity to interact with experienced specialists in food safety, are just two important reasons to attend the Highfield conference. Meeting friends and colleagues, a good accessible venue and excellent value for money are an added bonus’.

The conference takes place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 13 June 2019. 

For more information, go to http://foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk/

Regular updates are also available on  https://twitter.com/askhighfield and https://www.facebook.com/askhighfield
ENDS
Notes to editors:

  1. Highfield Qualifications is one of the UK’s leading awarding organisations, offering over 200 qualifications covering a wide variety of industries including food safety, customer service, health and safety, licensing, security, stewarding, retail, logistics, catering and hospitality.
  2. Highfield Qualifications recently took the coveted ‘Awarding Organisation of the Year 2018’ title at the Federation of Awarding Bodies’ annual awards ceremony in October 2018, and was a recipient of the Queens’ Award in 2016.

 

 

 

 

Conference Focus: ‘Using the media is an art in a scientific world’

Dr Lisa Ackerley, otherwise known as the ‘Hygiene Doctor’, and Tony Lewis, Associate Professor at the Royal Agricultural University, will discuss the do’s and don’ts of navigating food safety issues and the media at our Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference on 13 June at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

‘These days, something said today could be following you around for many years to come, so we need to be measured in a world which is usually fast paced, even instant. Preparation is key, having the information you need at your fingertips.’

Together, Lisa and Tony will cover topical issues such as allergens and acrylamide as well as the way in which the media approaches incidents. As a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, Dr Lisa Ackerley is renowned for providing expert advice and support to most food industry sectors and to the mass media on food safety issues.

In his engagement as an Associate Professor at the Royal Agricultural University, Tony Lewis has a brief that includes research and teaching in food. Prior to joining RAU, Tony was employed for many years as Head of Policy at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, and as such promised to provide great insight on the topic of Food safety issues and the media.

Find out more about the burning topics our line-up of expert speakers will discuss at the Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference this June on our website foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk.

And don’t forget to take advantage of our early bird offer and save £55 on the price of your ticket! Early bird offer ends 31 March.

To book your ticket now go to https://centres.highfieldqualifications.com/Events/EventDetails.aspx?EventDay=ab957cf6-7396-4ee3-80f6-99c01478061a

 

 

 

Highfield Products – 5 top tips for effective training delivery

 

effective training delivery5 top tips for effective training delivery

At Highfield we’ve been helping tutors and trainers to maximise their classroom sessions for four decades. Initially we focused on food safety training, utilising our chairman Richard Sprenger’s extensive knowledge of the subject to provide leading resources for enforcement officers, food safety trainers and, of course, learners.

Over time our range of training materials has evolved, as has the range of subjects we cover. We now offer books, training presentations, revision cards, DVDs and e-learning in subjects as diverse as food safety, health and safety, security, first aid and customer service.

Yet, despite this growth, at the heart of our product development has always been this question:  ‘What do our customers want?’ We pride ourselves on providing products that answer this question, giving exactly what the trainer and learner wants and needs from a specific resource.

A key tool that we find trainers and learners both engage with is a well-designed training presentation. An effectively designed training presentation should provide the content to engage, educate and inspire, as well as save the tutor time by covering all the required learning outcomes. But, of course, a presentation is only a single piece of the training mix.  

So, without further ado, here are our top tips for getting the most from your classroom session.

1)      The five P’s

Proper preparation prevents poor performance! It’s an old adage but it’s true. Before you deliver any training always take the time to prepare. Know your subject and take the time to ensure the information within your presentation is accurate and relevant to the learners you are teaching.

2)      Be credible

Linked to the proper preparation, ensure that the information you provide is up to date, is based on the latest technical information available, reflects the latest legislation and accounts for industry best practice.

If you’re delivering training using a Highfield training presentation, check that the edition you’re using is up to date. We review our presentations regularly and share product update documents, which detail any changes, on our website.

We design our presentations in PowerPoint to allow our trainers to edit and adapt them to suit their preferred style. Adding relevant and up-to-date news articles and video footage can be the difference between a good training session and a great one!

3)      Motivate and inspire

Know your audience! It’s important that you understand your class and the type of learner that you’re dealing with. What is the background of the class? What industry do they work in? What do they care about?

Once you can answer these simple questions it should allow you to keep a class engaged and inspired. Keep the content relevant, skim over information that isn’t relevant or adapt it to suit the group you’re teaching. Use the correct level of language – can everyone in the group speak English?

Will learners go back to the workplace and implement what you have taught? Ensure information sticks by making use of relevant interactive and group exercises. Allow your learners to share their experiences as well as listen to your anecdotes.  

4)      Time management

Practise, rehearse and practise again! Stay aware of the time so that you don’t need to rush through your training. Don’t linger on the same topic for too long or allow too many distractions, try to control the number of questions a group can ask.

Keep introductions short – especially for large groups – and have a plan for late arrivals or equipment malfunctions. Can you convert group exercises to class questions, reduce the number of stories you tell, or provide homework?

If you are using a Highfield training presentation, make sure you study it before use. We often provide more exercises than you will need, so decide which ones are essential for your learners and which can be optional.

5)      Go the extra mile!

Nobody wants to endure death by PowerPoint! You’re not narrating an audiobook – you’ve got a live audience. Vary your training and don’t rely solely on the training presentation for your content. Tell relevant and interesting stories that share your experience, involve the class and ask them to share their own stories. Make your session memorable. If your session is memorable, the information you share is more likely be retained. Remember to make use of your speaker/presenter notes, and interactivity. Recap the learning regularly, and make use of formative assessment, such as Highfield ABCD cards at the end of each module. Ensure your learners understand what they have been taught so that there are no nasty surprises by the time they sit their assessment.

Highfield offers training presentations in a wide range of subjects including first aid, food safety and HACCP, health and safety, fire safety, allergens, security and more.

If you think our professionally designed, time-saving training presentations might help your training delivery, take a look at our range of training presentations on www.highfieldproducts.com or call 0845 226 0350/01302 363277.

The Future of Food Safety – Converting Certification to Competence

Highfield Food Safety CPD Event

The Future of Food Safety

As we welcome in the new year, like many of you, we’re also looking to and planning for the future. In 2019 we’re as committed as we’ve ever been to raising food safety standards through qualifications and supporting training. On Tuesday 19 February, Highfield Chairman Richard Sprenger will deliver two CPD sessions on what the future of food safety might look like.

These half-day CPD sessions will provide food safety trainers, training managers from corporate organisations, and enforcement officers with the chance to discuss our proposals for the future of food safety and HACCP training, share in Richard Sprenger’s knowledge and participate in our vision for improving food safety based on our global experience.

We’ve written the most popular books on food safety and, over the last 35 years, evolved into the UK’s leading provider of regulated food safety qualifications, training materials and e-learning.

Fifty years of promoting food safety in roles as diverse as enforcement officer, government adviser, director and chairman of an awarding organisation have given Richard an insight into food safety that is unrivalled. His passion has seen him travel the world working with trainers, large companies and government bodies to implement improvements to food safety standards.

It is this experience that ensures that not only are Highfield’s solutions to food-safety issues based on good science, but that they are pragmatic and practical for the real-world situations that occur in business.

Since 2010 Highfield, under the leadership of Richard, has been heavily involved in the implementation of the Dubai government’s mandated Person in Charge (PIC) Programme, a programme that has seen measurable and meaningful success in improving standards of food safety.  

This success has given Highfield the blueprint for a new way of implementing food safety and hygiene improvements. A way that sees the certificate reflect competency, rather than just a box-ticking exercise in the latest third-party audit or inspection.

At this event Highfield will unveil what we believe will be a significant step forward in converting ‘the certificate on the wall’ to genuine competence in the workplace, and provide food businesses with the means to accept the responsibility for food safety and HACCP within their business.

This is the ideal CPD event for anyone with responsibility for training or implementing food safety improvements.

Delegates can choose from two sessions, with one session in the morning and a second session taking place in the afternoon. The timings and the agenda can be seen below.

Agenda:

Morning session –

8.30 – 9.00am: Registration and refreshments
9.00-10.00am: Improving food safety
10.00-10.30am: HACCP in catering
10.30-10.45am: Break and refreshments
10.45am – 11.45am: The future of food safety: certified programmes and HACCP for catering v CODEX

Afternoon session –

12.45-1.15pm: Registration and refreshments
1.15-2.15pm: Improving food safety
2.15-2.45pm: HACCP in catering
2.45-3.00pm: Break and refreshments
3.00-4.00pm: The future of food safety: certified programmes and HACCP for catering v CODEX

Attendance at this event will award participants with 3 CPD hours.

Places cost £35+VAT for Highfield centres and £55+VAT for non-centres.

To book your place, click here or call 0845 226 0350/01302 363277.

Allergens in food: Russian roulette for customers?

Allergens, a 14-barrel gun ready to fire at any moment.

Many of the foods we consume on a day-to-day basis contain allergens. Many of us consume them without a moment’s thought, but for some the risks of consuming food containing allergenic ingredients are potentially deadly.  

Allergens, allergies, and allergic reactions often make the news. Often in tragic circumstances as a member of the public has suffered either catastrophic injury or worse following the consumption of an allergenic ingredient.

Articles on such instances often feature hard-hitting quotes from friends, family and industry experts, or snippets of legal judgements, but with no context or guidance as to the steps you can take to protect not only yourself and your business, but most importantly customers to exposure to allergens.

The UK has recently been the source of high-profile worldwide news stories regarding allergens. There have been high profile instances featuring well-known high street brands and an October court case that resulted in custodial sentences for the two owners of a Manchester takeaway.

The common theme has been undeclared allergens.

In the Manchester takeaway case, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a statement describing the convictions as a clear message to food businesses of the consequences of not providing accurate allergen information.

The sentiments are fair. But how do you ensure that the food you produce is free of allergens or clearly labelled as containing allergenic ingredients? 

A good starting point would be to fully understand all of the ingredients that are used in your products. Are your suppliers held to strict allergen controls? Do they label ingredients clearly? Are you aware of their manufacturing processes and any potential exposure to allergens? Do they provide regular and timely updates on all changes to ingredients?

Closer to home there are steps that can be taken from the very basics of good food safety and hygiene and the proper thorough cleaning of work stations to safe, clearly labelled storage, utilising colour-coded utensils and using separate cleaning supplies to avoid cross-contamination.

Perhaps, most importantly, the human element – how well trained and knowledgeable are your staff when it comes to allergen control? Are they confident and compliant when managing ingredient controls and procedures? Do they understand the potential seriousness of allergic reactions?

Keeping a record of your allergen controls is vital. Not only for you when it comes to audits and inspections, but for your customers when it comes to their well-being.

At Highfield we currently offer two regulated qualifications that provide employers and employees with the knowledge to improve safety and implement effective allergen controls. The Highfield Level 2 Award in Allergen Awareness and Control in Catering (RQF) is ideal for front-line staff and those involved in the preparation of food. We also offer the Highfield Level 3 Award in Allergen Management in Catering (RQF), which is ideal for managers of a catering business.

We also have an interactive e-learning course that offers an ‘Introduction to Allergens’ and is ideal for staff who are involved in food production or food handling roles whether in catering, retail or manufacturing.

If you’d like more information on how our qualifications, training materials or e-learning may help you understand allergens more clearly, please contact us today.

Call 0845 226 0350/01302 363277 or email info@highfield.co.uk and a member of our team will explain how we can help.

 

 

Effective Delivery of Highfield Level 4 Qualifications

Do your learners struggle with the step up to level 4 food safety or HACCP?

Are pass rates not as high as you would hope? Or are your learners passing with lower marks than anticipated?

If the answer is ‘yes’ then our Effective Delivery of Level 4 Qualifications event is essential CPD!

As the market leader for regulated food safety qualifications, Highfield is committed to ensuring its centres can offer the finest food safety and HACCP qualifications on the market.

And as part of that commitment, we have recently reviewed and updated the assessment methods of our level 4 regulated qualifications in HACCP and food safety.

The changes to these qualifications have been made to ensure that Highfield qualifications continue to set the standard in food safety compliance to ensure continued relevance and to respond to and meet modern day issues.

Attendance at this event will provide 3 CPD points.

To book your place, click here.

Calling all food safety trainers and professionals!

This Autumn Highfield will host two half day food safety CPD workshops in Bristol. As the UKs market leader for regulated food safety qualifications, we are committed to ensuring that Highfield centres are kept up-to-date with the latest developments in the sector and best practice when it comes to delivering our qualifications.

Firstly, join us for our Effective Delivery of Highfield Level 4 Qualifications on the 9th October 2018. Ideal for centres who have learners who struggle with the step up to level 4 food safety or HACCP or have lower than expected pass rates, and learners passing with lower marks than anticipated, this event will put the focus on maximising results.

The event will put a spotlight on the recent changes that have recently been made to our level 4 qualifications and focus on the updated assessment criteria that ensures our qualifications offer continued relevance and ensure that they meet modern day issues.

The event will be delivered by Judith Hutchinson. Jude is one of Highfield’s subject matter experts for food safety and HACCP, moderates and marks all levels of food safety and HACCP exams, and is an experienced trainer. Jude has been delivering food safety and HACCP training, as well as working as a consultant, to food manufacturers, caterers and retailers, for many years.

Attending the Effective Delivery of Highfield Level 4 Qualifications event provides 3 CPD points and costs just £50 for Highfield Centres. Non-centres are welcome to attend and will be charged £80.

Book your place on this event here.

Then, on the 27th November we’ll run a Pest Management and Effective Cleaning CPD Event that brings together two excellent speakers from two hugely respected organisations.

Grahame Turner, Training Manager at Mitie Pest Control will run through the latest innovations in pest control including the growing role of technology within programmes of pest management. Vitally, Grahame’s talk focuses on how organisations can implement this new technology within their existing pest management programme.

Peter Littleton then comes to the fore with a cleaning update. Technical Director at Christeyns Food Hygiene and Vice-Chair & Training Services at SOFHT brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the room. Peter’s presentation on cleaning techniques and measuring efficacy highlights the importance of ensuring that the basics are covered, and that results are verified.

This half day event will provide attendees with 4 CPD points and costs just £50 for Highfield centres and £80 for non-centres.

Book your place on this event here.