E. coli is a bacterial infection that can cause severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhoea and kidney failure.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued guidance for food businesses to clarify the steps that they need to take to control the risk of food becoming contaminated by E. coli O157 and what businesses should be doing to protect their customers.
This guidance has been developed in response to the serious outbreaks of E. coli O157 in Scotland in 1996 and Wales in 2005, which were attributed to poor handling of food.
Although E. coli is the key focus of this guidance, the measures outlined will also help in the control of other bacteria, such as campylobacter and salmonella.
You should carefully consider the work flow of your operation to prevent the risk of cross contamination. Safer food, better business (SFBB) provides guidance on safe working methods and we will discuss these issues during food hygiene inspections.
We strongly recommend that if you handle raw and ready to eat foods you install non-hand operable taps to wash hand basins or develop procedures to ensure food handlers use the paper towels to turn off taps after use.
We can supply hand washing posters (pdf, 356kb) for use on your premises.