British cuisine, historically speaking, has not been regarded as glamorous. In fact, many would argue that the introduction of the curry is the single most important culinary event to shake the foundations of British cuisine, since the appearance of fish and chips in the late 1860’s.

Nevertheless, the British public has a keen palate for foods from around the World and this is evident from the vast offer of cafes, restaurants and pubs found countrywide, providing an array of delicacies ranging from baked beans to truffles, and from sushi to scampi. The hospitality industry in the UK is thriving, with restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars all competing to provide customers with the best possible experience.
Imaginative menu aside, one of the key factors that can make or break a business in this industry is hygiene. Lacklustre hygiene standards can have dramatic consequences for a hospitality business, including the possibility of food poisoning outbreaks. Customers getting food poisoning from a restaurant can rapidly devastate a hospitality business. Such cases can result in irreversible damage to a restaurant’s reputation and even legal action.

In this blog post, we will look at food hygiene laws and why good hygiene standards are so important in the hospitality industry.

The Law on Food Hygiene

The UK has strict laws in place to ensure that food is safe for consumption. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is responsible for setting and enforcing these laws. All food businesses in the UK, including restaurants, cafes and pubs, must comply with the food hygiene regulations.

The pertinent legislation for food safety in the UK is:

The Food Safety Act of 1990, which stipulates that businesses:

  • Must not treat food in any way that may cause it to be dangerous to health.
  • Must not sell food that is not what the customer is entitled to expect in terms of content or quality.
  • Must not describe or present food in a way that is false or misleading.

The legislation surrounding good food hygiene practices is covered in:

  • The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013;
  • The Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (as amended);
  • The Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006; and
  • The Food Hygiene Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006.

This literature stipulates the procedures and regulations to be followed by businesses in the area of food safety, based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures.

The Importance of Good Hygiene Standards for the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry relies on customers having a positive experience. This means not only providing excellent food and service but also ensuring that the premises and staff are clean and hygienic. Failure to maintain high standards of hygiene can lead to serious consequences for both customers and businesses.

Food Poisoning Outbreaks in UK Restaurants

Food poisoning outbreaks in UK restaurants are more common than you might think. Food poisoning statistics from FSA’s 2022 report revealed that every year over 2.4 million food poisoning cases occur in the UK, many of which were linked to UK restaurants.

The most common causes of food poisoning in restaurants are:

  • Cross-contamination (the transfer of bacteria between food items)
  • Poor personal hygiene of staff
  • Failure to store food correctly
  • Failure to cook food thoroughly

The impact of food poisoning outbreaks on customers can be severe, with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and fever. In severe cases, hospitalisation may be necessary. For businesses, the impact can be even more dramatic.

Reputational Damage to Restaurants

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools for any business, but it can be a double-edged sword. A single case of food poisoning can quickly spread on social media, leading to a flood of negative reviews and a loss of customers. In some cases, the damage to reputation can be irreparable.

Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram provide a platform for customers to share their experiences with a global audience. This can be a great way to build brand awareness and attract new customers, but it can also be a businesses’ downfall.

If a customer has a negative experience, they are likely to share it on social media, and this can quickly spread. Proactive social media management can mitigate the impact of negative reviews to an extent, but this is a clear case where prevention is the best cure.

The positive impact of good hygiene on your business

Maintaining good hygiene standards is essential for businesses in the hospitality industry. Failure to comply with food hygiene laws can result in serious consequences, from legal action to reputational damage.

As a professional cleaning company, we understand the importance of maintaining impeccable standards for businesses in this industry.

Cleanology’s highly trained team of professional cleaners can provide a range of services, from regular cleaning of kitchen equipment to deep cleaning of dining areas.

We deliver high-quality cleaning services that provide you with the peace of mind that your business maintains impeccable standards. Whatever the scale of the job our professional cleaners will ensure that every cleaning task is approached with care and passion. For more information on restaurant cleaning services near you, contact our friendly team on 0330 2020 355. We are always happy to be of service.