Call a friend?
Who do you call when you have a problem with your food hygiene inspection outcome?
Last week I was that friend to three businesses.
Each time I felt like I was a food safety translator. On the one side of the room is the food business owner/manager, passionate about their business, convinced they are complying to all the rules and laws. I mean why wouldn’t they? They don’t want to make their customers ill. They understand, without their customers and a good reputation, their business is ruined.
On the other side of the room is the enforcement officer. Their job is to protect the public. Day to day they are thinking about all the different ways a business can injure or kill their employees and customers. They know about dangerous bacteria and their effects. Their role is important to ensure food safety.
There are many of reasons why both sides can’t understand the other.
It is fair to say, the food business owner can get very defensive and protective about the business. This is understandable, they have invested their time and money to nurture this business. However, maybe they have let a few food safety issues fall off their radar. Not deliberately, just because they are busy running their business.
On the other hand, the Enforcement Officer will have had experience of business owners that really do not care about keeping people safe and only care about profit. They have been told about the customers who have suffered complications from having salmonella, who can no longer walk. They care about protecting the public’s health.
However, there are a few bad food businesses and there can also be a few less understanding enforcement officers who care more about ‘winning the argument’ than supporting and working with the business. Sometimes, they aren’t able to see the cost and time effect they are having on a business.
So if you are food business and you need a friend, either to pull you up on the food safety issues that have slipped your mind or to ‘translate’ what your EHO is trying to tell you. Or if you need a friend to ‘stick-up’ for you and your business after a bad inspection experience. Give us a call or visit our website.