Spud's Down to Earth Advice on...
|Childcare settings can include:
If you are thinking of setting up childcare which includes the provision of food/meals you will need to ensure that the food and drink you will be producing is safe and wholesome. You will need to satisfy basic requirements for facilities and food hygiene practices in order to comply with hygiene legislation.
Food Hygiene Legislation
Under the Food Safety Act 1990 if you carry out any preparation, storage, or handling of food as a childcare provider (whether for profit or not) your premises will be classed as a food business. Food offered as part of childcare must be fit for human consumption and be free of contamination.
The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 and Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 specify the standards you must meet in order to ensure food safety.
Food premises must be registered under Regulation (EC) No 852/2004, although childminders caring for no more than six children are exempted from this requirement.
If you are starting your childcare in a premises that has not been used previously for this purpose you may need to obtain planning permission. Please check with the Planning Service of this Council.
Environmental Protection Act 1990
Health And Safety At Work etc. Act 1974 - every business must take all reasonable steps to protect the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees, customers, visitors and on-site contractors.
Infection Control - as babies and young children are so vulnerable to infections, it is essential that you and your staff are trained in proper infection control procedures. As well as good hygiene throughout the premises this means having proper systems in place to prevent infections spreading from person to person.
Your Food Business
When first planning to set up your childcare business it is important that you consider carefully all relevant food aspects, including:
Hazard analysis - hazard analysis is really all about making sure that you know what the possible food hazards are in your business and taking the necessary steps to reduce them as far as practicable or, preferably, to eliminate them altogether.
Instruction and training of food handlers - food handlers must be trained or instructed in food hygiene matters to a level appropriate to their duties. The type of training required depends on what the food handler actually does. For example, a cook preparing and cooking meals in full day care provision would generally need the Level 2 Food Safety in Catering award, whereas staff serving meals and handling low risk products may only require a Level 1 Award. All food handlers before they start work for the first time must receive basic instruction in the Essentials of Food Hygiene, followed within a reasonable period of time with appropriate formal training.
Premises structure - the walls, floors, ceilings, doors and windows to all food premises must be maintained in good repair and condition to allow adequate cleaning and disinfection, with no danger of contamination by pests.
Equipment - all items that come into contact with food, including packaging, must be kept clean, be in good condition and made of suitable material so as to minimise the risk of contamination.
Washing facilities (sinks) - facilities should be provided for washing equipment and for washing food. The number of sinks for washing food and equipment will be related to the type and scale of the food business planned. Whilst having two sinks (one for washing, rinsing and disinfecting equipment and one for washing food) is ideal, just one sink may be acceptable in small operations provided there is no risk of cross contamination.
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