23 Feb Compliance in commercial catering
Most areas of work involve some legal or health and safety rules but they are especially important in the catering industry where there is a huge amount of regulatory law and guidance that have to be complied with. This is in addition to the laws and rules that apply in all areas of business such as those relating to financial and accounting issues.
Employment law applies to all employers regardless of the industry in which they work, however, because the catering sector employs more young people than a lot of other industries there is additional employment legislation to comply with that specifically relates to the employment of young people as well as their health and safety. The TUC has published guidance that is aimed at young people to advise them of their rights in employment across all sectors. This guidance equally applies to young people employed in the catering industry.
Health and safety and food hygiene
One of the main areas of regulatory compliance in the commercial catering industry is health and safety. The Health and Safety Executive has produced detailed guidance for the catering industry on how to minimize the risks within this industry. The main risks within the catering industry are related to slipping and tripping accidents, contact dermatitis, and safe manual handling as well as incidents involving knives and other sharp implements.
In addition to the health and safety risks which are mainly related to employees, the other main area of compliance is food hygiene which relates mainly to members of the public. There are legal requirements that have to be complied with, for those who are preparing and supplying food to the public.
Those who are working in the area of supplying food to the public need to undertake a food hygiene course and obtain a certificate. Basic food hygiene includes the proper preparation and storing of food including using commercial refrigeration such as that supplied by Fridge Freezer Direct Ltd.
Other areas of compliance
As with any business, there are other areas of compliance to consider. Due to the fact that the commercial catering sector mainly deals with members of the public, then any employer within this industry should be in possession of public liability insurance in the event that something goes wrong.
Additionally, as with any business, if a commercial catering company has a high enough turnover then it has to be registered for VAT as well as ensuring it is paying the correct Corporation Tax and paying the right National Insurance contributions on behalf of its employees. Commercial catering companies should also ensure that there is adequate risk management in place as well as all of the correct policies and procedures relating to health and safety, employment, and financial compliance.
This should have demonstrated that there are many things to consider when running a commercial catering company and compliance and risk management are definitely two things that cannot be taken too lightly.