Understanding the Law in Your Commercial Kitchen

There are many laws and regulations affecting all businesses, none more so than catering, where you need to comply with the usual rules around employment, taxes accounting and health and safety, as well as with requirements which are specific to the industry like the food safety and hygiene framework.

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Why are the Laws for Commercial Kitchens so Stringent?

There are several reasons for the apparent strictness of the regulations affecting catering enterprises. The key considerations are as follows.

Firstly each type of business environment presents its own unique set of risks, and the commercial kitchen is no exception. As an example, there is a very real danger of making customers ill if you serve food that isn’t​ fresh or basic standards of food preparation hygiene aren’t observed.

Equally, with commercial ovens, such as those provided by https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/catering-equipment/heavy-cooking-equipment/commercial-ovens-ranges, hot cooking vessels and dangerous implements like professional knives being the tools of the catering trade, there are some significant health and safety issues that need careful consideration. As burdensome as they might seem, the formal rules are designed to help you manage the risks to you, your staff and your customers.

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Secondly, there are idiosyncrasies about businesses serving food which mean that, if they aren’t properly maintained, they represent an environmental risk to neighbours. Catering businesses attract insects and rodents, for example, and care needs to be taken to contain these before they become a serious problem for neighbouring shops, offices and homes.

Other Benefits of Compliance

It’s also worth pointing out that food hygiene is something of a media hot topic and firms with exceptionally high or low compliance ratings can obtain a great deal of attention which can, in effect, make or break an enterprise. See, for example, this recent report from the Newcastle area which highlighted the best local “scores on the doors”.

Navigating the Law in Your Kitchen

The laws are numerous and complex but there are several useful resources to help you to understand and comply with them. In the first instance, we would recommend that you check out the following pages, then seek further professional advice where appropriate:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/catering/faqs.htm#t2
https://www.food.gov.uk/about-us/publications

Local further education colleges also often run courses on food preparation safety, which can be hugely helpful to both you and your employees.