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Katy Elliott reveals key reasons businesses don’t get 5 stars 

Food hygiene and safety is a hot topic for food safety expert Katy Elliott, as it can not only lead to the downfall of a hospitality business, it can also cause illness or even death for a customer!

While many businesses fail to achieve a 5-star rating for blatantly poor hygiene and a lack of care and safety, some fail or even get a zero rating for things like paperwork.

Luckily for Merseyside hospitality businesses, there is a food safety guru working to make sure they consistently get a 5-star rating! 5 Star Food Safety, owned by Katy Elliott, trains businesses and staff and implements a customised, straightforward system to guard against the feared environmental health visits.

With over 25 years of experience, Katy has helped countless restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels, manufacturers and other food related businesses achieve 5 star food safety ratings and has become an integral part of their operation. Here she reveals the key reasons business fail and don’t achieve a 5 star rating….

Katy Elliott reveals key reasons businesss don't get 5 stars

1. No Food Safety Management System

The premises may not be dirty but there is no documented evidence that food safety is being taken seriously. Remember, if it’s not written down, there’s no proof. That’s why I’ve written an easy to follow food safety system. If the paperwork is too complicated and cumbersome then staff find it too hard to follow. My systems are tailor made for each setting.

2. Failure To Manage An Existing Food Safety System

Documentation and monitoring records such as fridge/freezer temperatures on the opening and closing of the kitchen. Again, my system is easy to follow and I keep all my customers informed of any changes to current legislation.

3. Lack Of Knowledge

A failure to keep abreast of current legislation may result in a food safety management system that is no longer “fit for purpose”. For example, in 2019 the FSA added Acrylamide into the SFBB (Safer Food Better Business) and I still audit kitchens and staff haven’t heard about this.

4. Lack Of Staff Training

Many food service businesses employ additional staff during the summer but fail to provide them with adequate training. Some small business operators working on narrow margins are often tempted to view training for casual or seasonal staff as a waste of money.

I insist that my customers either train their staff or I train the staff. I don’t charge a fortune for this training and I know that if I carry out the training staff are more engaging when using my easy system and they are not scared of phoning me up if they are even unsure of something in the future. It’s all about building a confident team.

5. Too Busy

During the course of a busy day, when customer numbers are high, there may be a temptation to serve food quickly rather than safely. This is why I ensure my customers keep hot food ‘prove-it’ records.

6. Poor Habits Of Food Handlers

Even where food safety training has been delivered, management may fail to ensure staff actually adhere to it! People seem to think that wearing disposable gloves is hygienic – this is not the case. When wearing gloves you cannot feel if your hands are dirty, so I actively discourage wearing them. In
some circumstances I would wear gloves, i.e. handling fish, peeling garlic or onions but that’s about it.

7. Poor Cleaning Habits Due To Premises

Food businesses by law should have adequate lighting, ventilation, drainage and a dependable supply of hot and cold potable water, with separate sinks for hand washing and food preparation. Poorly laid out or difficult to access areas, such as behind ovens and freezers, may result in staff failing to clean effectively, which can result in a build-up of dangerous levels of bacteria and an infestation of pests. Some staff blame the kitchen by saying it’s old. You can still keep an old kitchen clean so there is no excuse.

Katy Elliott reveals key reasons businesss don't get 5 stars

Katy has had some amazing some amazing success stories — in some cases taking businesses from a zero rating to 5 stars! A key area where she bridges the gap is with business owners who don’t speak English as their first language. Not fully understanding the complex guidelines can often lead to errors that put the business at risk, therefore Katy puts in simple systems and even translates them if necessary.

Katy offers a free consultation in which she will assess the business and current practises, provide some advice and then offer her services of a bespoke system that will guarantee 5 stars every time. She also offers staff training, allergen and labelling training and random on the spot checks to test staff compliance.

For a free consultation with Katy you can call her on 07940 314549 or email Katy@5starfs.uk

For more information visit the website.


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