29th March 2011


 Issue No.  2011/06




The FSA has recently issued guidance to clarify the steps that food businesses need to take to control the risk of contamination from the food bug E.coli O157.
Those with good memories will remember the serious outbreaks of E.coli in Scotland in 1996 and Wales in 2005. Both of these resulted in serious illness and in a few cases, death. The cause of these outbreaks was attributed to cross-contamination arising from a lack of effective cleaning and disinfection systems and a failure to separate raw meat handling from ready to eat food handling. 
The FSA guidance has been developed to remind food businesses what they should be doing to protect their customers from the serious consequences of E.coli O157 food poisoning.
Those businesses properly applying good Food Safety and Hygiene systems (such as those provided by Sentient) will already be following the steps contained in the guidance. In this case the guidance provides reassurance that everything that can be done to prevent cross-contamination is being done.
It can be reasonably expected that this same guidance will be used by local authority food safety officers (EHOs) when inspecting businesses in their area.
So what are the Key Measures? 
  • Identification of separate work areas, surfaces and equipment for raw and ready-to-eat food.
  • Use of separate complex equipment, such as vacuum-packing machines, slicers, and mincers for raw and ready-to-eat food.
  • Handwashing should be carried out using a recognised technique. Anti-bacterial gels must not be used instead of thorough handwashing.
  • Disinfectants and sanitisers must meet officially recognised standards and should be used as instructed by the manufacturer.
Although E.coli O157 is the key focus of this guidance, the measures outlined will also help in the control of other bacteria, such as campylobacter and salmonella.
The full guidance, developed following a public consultation and Professor Hugh Pennington’s report into the 2005 E.coli O157 outbreak, can be found at the link below, along with a fact-sheet for businesses, which summarises the guidance.
Source – Food Standards Agency






Employment Law
Health & Safety
Personnel / HR
Food Safety
Food Hygiene
Management Training



Making sense of it all

Sentient - Training

Sentient adj ...

"capable of perception"

"capable of independent thought"

Can we help you?
If you think so, please contact us at advice@sentientuk.co.uk or call UK 08456 446006

To subscribe for these E-mails click here or to access our archive of previous E-mail Updates please click here.  

Click here for details of the services available on our website. 

Our current Open Course Training Programme is available to view here

The advice and comment in this update is not meant to be an authoritative statement of law. The articles and summaries should not be applied to any specific set of facts and circumstances without seeking further advice. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the content is correct Sentient cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made nor the result of any actions taken by individuals after reading such.

To unsubscribe to this information newsletter please click here and complete the unsubscribe form on our site.
Warning do not click this link unless you wish to be removed from this update newsletter.