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Food Safety: is your company R638 ready?

Food safety is everybody’s concern and in a country where a lot of food is prepared outside of the home environment, it’s difficult to find anyone who has not encountered an unpleasant moment of foodborne illness at some point in time. This is especially applicable in the hospitality industry.

According to the regulations governing general hygiene requirements for food premises, the transport of food and related matters (R638) of 22 June 2018, companies have one year from the gazetted date to comply with the change in legislation.

The new legislation states that general hygiene requirements are mandatory for your canteen or staff restaurant. In addition to the kitchen and serving area being constructed and maintained hygienically, you should be able to answer the following questions:

● Do you have a valid certificate of acceptability (COA) for the premises?
● Is the person in charge accredited to train employees in food safety? Accreditations pertain to employees being trained by accredited organisations which are recognised accreditation bodies and organisations such as CATHSSETA.
● Do you have records to show that everyone handling food has been trained in food safety?
● Can you prove that all the processes in your kitchen are compliant?
● Do you control your allergens?

What do you need to do to prepare for the June 2019 deadline?
In South Africa every person is entitled to access safe and affordable food. Any food product that is processed, packed or prepared in an unsafe manner will carry the risk of threatening consumer health.

Recent statistics reveal that one in three of meals, consumed in South Africa, is prepared outside the home which makes food safety of paramount importance.

The effects of poor food safety practices can be severe on a business and will invariably result in the loss of sales, reduced profits, loss of trust and consumer confidence, adverse publicity, erosion of brand image, loss of market share and sometimes, legal action.
We’ve illustrated the business imperative to ensure compliance by the June 2019 deadline, but do you know how to approach compliance?

Summit has developed three learning solutions to help you comply with R683:

● Instructor-led: Accredited three-days instructor led training course on Food Safety Handling accredited by CATHSSETA, FoodBev Seta and W&R Seta.
● RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning): Learners are given the opportunity to gather evidence of previous experience gained and thereby build a Portfolio of Evidence (POE) to illustrate the accredited certification from CATHSSETA, FoodBev Seta and W&R Seta.
● Online: Learners complete an online training programme that is supported by video content, online assessments, articles and a social learning experience in order to gain the required knowledge. Once the knowledge component is completed, learners will

then build a POE in the workplace and submit it to the relevant SETA in order to obtain an accredited certification from CATHSSETA, FoodBev Seta and W&R Seta.

There is still time to upskill your staff and ensure that your company adheres to the new R638 legislation; in time for the June 2019 deadline.

Summit is Africa’s leading hospitality education and training provider. Our certified, trained and skilled staff will give your business the edge.

Get in contact with us today to find our more about our Food Safety Programmes.