Food Standards Agency issues guidance to businesses - Bean sprouts linked to deadly E.coli outbreak
1st July 2011
If your business undertakes food production or preparation on site, you need to be aware of the recent announcement from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), following the outbreak of E.coli in Germany and France.
As general good practice you should pass this message onto your employees who may also be handling and preparing food of their own.
The FSA states:
“Following further cases of E. coli in France, the Food Standards Agency is revising its guidance on the consumption of sprouted seeds such as alfalfa, mung beans (usually known as bean sprouts) and fenugreek.
As a precaution, the Agency is advising that sprouted seeds should only be eaten if they have been cooked thoroughly until steaming hot throughout; they should not be eaten raw.
The investigations into the outbreak of E. coli in France have suggested a possible link to sprouting seeds from a company based in the UK. To date, no cases of food poisoning have been reported in the UK linked to the outbreak in France. We are in close contact with the Health Protection Agency which is actively monitoring the situation.
The Agency also advises that equipment that has been used for sprouting seeds should be cleaned thoroughly after use. You should always wash your hands after handling seeds intended for planting or sprouting.”
Alastair Hall, Head of Heath & Safety, at Citation plc Health & Safety specialists said “Failure by an employer to put the necessary controls and measures in place, could leave them at risk of potential prosecution should an associated outbreak of E.coli occur.”
Employees whose duties at work include preparing, handling or producing food should follow strict food hygiene procedures as part of normal business processes.
As good practice employers should encourage employees to follow strict food hygiene procedures out of work.
Citation’s Health & Safety Consultants and 24/7 Health & Safety Helpline advisors support clients throughout any Health & Safety process, providing advice and guidance at all stages. If you are worried that your business is not properly conforming to current Health & Safety regulations, then a Citation Health & Safety Consultant can help.
Operating throughout the UK since 1995, Citation provides professional advice and compliance packages to business clients. Independently endorsed at the highest level its market leading services provide guaranteed protection in the high risk areas of health & safety regulations and employment law.
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For more information about Citation and the services it provides, visit the Citation website at http://www.citation.co.uk/health-and-safety or call 0845 844 1111.