UK cut-backs set up ‘food poisoning time bomb’: CIEH

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food safety Hygiene Health

Cut-backs in food safety and hygiene training may be setting up a ‘food poisoning time bomb’, suggest results of a survey from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

Around half of food safety trainers surveyed indicated that food safety training had been negatively affected by the economic climate, with 70 per cent of respondents noting that this was due to ‘cost cutting’ measures.

“This survey is cause for concern and if this trend continues public health could be put at risk - potentially triggering a food poisoning time bomb,”​ said David Kidney, CIEH Head of Policy.

“Proper instruction or training of food handlers in food hygiene is a legal obligation and businesses must ensure that their staff have the skills to ensure the health and wellbeing of the customers they serve,”​ he added.

The CIEH conducted the survey in the second week of August and it was sent to 5,000 food safety trainers and training centres.

“The economic downturn has meant many businesses have had to rein in spending, which is understandable, but quality training needs to be seen as an investment which protects your staff, your business and your company’s reputation,”​ said Kidney. “A food poisoning outbreak can be the death knell for a food business and can have a myriad of consequences from reputational damage to business failure.


Kidney hit out at online training and training solutions, stating that they were often “not necessarily be accurate and up-to-date”. “Anyone can set up a food safety training business online and sell a course to public,” ​he added.

“Make sure the course you choose is fit for your purpose and that you are not wasting your precious resources on cowboy companies.”

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