9th Edition - September 2017
The evenings draw in and start to get cold, the leaves on the trees begin to turn gold, all  these signs that the summer grows old. But do not despair or show dissatisfaction, because its time for the latest edition of E-Gut Reaction.

In this edition - we look at how to avoid being implicated in rural crime, accident reporting, cooking oil, child employment law and point you in the direction of some useful resources to help you comply with allergen law. 
Rural Crime
The UKs fields, hedgerows, woodlands, fields, coastlines and seas contain a veritable smorgasbord of tasty morsels for any would be forager or hunter. High market value items such as mushrooms, game meat and scallops offer tempting financial incentives for unscrupulous and inexperienced collectors who have no regard for the damage that they cause to your business or the environment.  

Anyone who is collecting, preparing or selling wild foods for commercial purposes should be aware of the laws and dangers of doing so or run the risk of breaking the law and fatally poisoning their customers.

All food businesses are obliged to check the traceability of foods received into their premises; especially wild foods which may require expert identification, as with mushrooms and/or preparation by an approved supplier as with scallops to avoid or remove poisons and contamination which could prove fatal if consumed.
Suppliers are obliged to provide you with this information on the foods that they supply, including where the product has come from. Poorly butchered meats that lack health marks and other foods without traceability may be stolen and should be treated with suspicion.

Anyone who suspects they have been offered stolen or misidentified goods should contact their local Environmental Health food team or Crime stoppers.
Reporting Accidents at Work
An employee has an accident at work! Do you need report it and if so how do you report it?  

Under the “Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)”.All businesses should, as good practice, record all accidents and near misses at work in an accident book, this will give you a working record which will help you identify and manage trends. Not all accidents need to be formally reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Only when the accident is work related and certain injuries are sustained will you need to complete an on-line report at
Injuries that must be reported are:
  • Deaths
  • Fractures (other than fingers, thumbs or toes)
  • Serious burns that cover more than 10% of the body
  • Unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxiation.
  • Any injury where an employee is away from work or unable to perform their normal work duties for more than 7 days as a result of an accident at work, (not counting the day it happened).
So what about members of the public? A report must be made if the person is injured due to something within your work premise or activities and is taken from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital as a precaution in relation to a non work related condition such as heart attack or when no injury is apparent.

For further information visit the HSE website.
Cooking Oil 
As a food business you have a legal duty to dispose of waste cooking oil properly. Waste oil must be collected by an authorised operator and you must be able to records to prove that you have disposed of your waste legally. Many collectors provide you with a financial incentive in exchange for your oil.  
Waste oil must never be poured down drains and best practice should be followed to limit accidental release into the sewer as it can lead to blockages and cause odour and pest issues. It must not be put in with your normal catering waste as it may spill, cause pollution problems and contractors may not collect it. It is important to store waste oil in suitable lidded containers to avoid spillages and to discourage pests.
Genetically modified oil
Food retailers and caterers have a duty to inform their customers if any foods contain or are produced using genetically modified organisms. One of the most common genetically modified foods found in the UK are vegetable oils made from for example genetically modified soya.

You should check the labels of the oils that you are using to see if they contain any genetically modified organisms. This information will be in the list of ingredients or if there is no ingredients list then it will be in a general statement on the label. If the oil is genetically modified then this information MUST be made known to your customers.

For example:

Scampi and Chips £7.95 (GM*)
(*GM- cooked in vegetable oil produced from genetically modified Soya)
Child Employment law
Summer and part time jobs provide an opportunity for children to gain work experience and a chance to earn some extra pocket money. For many business child employment can provide a temporary boost to their workforce in response to the increase in summer trade. Employing anyone under the age of 18 provides clear advantages and opportunities for all involved however there are key issues you should be aware of.

You MUST carry out a risk assessment for all young persons BEFORE they start work.
13 years – 15 years Term Time – Maximum of 12 hours per week. Including a maximum of 2 hours on school days and Sundays and 5 hours on a Saturday.
Holiday Time – Maximum 25 hours per week. Including a maximum of
5 hours on weekdays and Saturday and 2 hours on Sunday.
  They can undertake a paper round or light work which is not harmful to their health, safety or development. A work permit may be needed for children within this age group. Permits must be in place 14 days before employment begins. For further information visit the Dorset for you website or email:
15 years – 16 years Term Time - Maximum of 12 hours per week. Including a maximum of 2 hours on school days and Sundays and 5 hours on a Saturday.
Holiday Time – Maximum of 35 hours per week. Including 8 hours on weekdays and Saturday and 2 hours on Sunday.
  They can wait on tables, clear tables/glasses, take orders etc but must have a break of 1 hour after 4 hours work.
16 years -18 years Can work 8 hours a day or 40 hours over the week. They must have  a minimum of 12 hours rest between each working day and 48 hours rest per working week.
  They can wait on tables, wash up in a restaurant/hotel provided the area is separate to the main kitchen or work in food retail.
Children must NOT work before 7am or after 7pm, during school hours or for more than 1 hour before they go to school.

Further advice can be found at
Allergens - The stuff you NEED to know
The EU law has listed 14 allergens that need to be identified if they are used as ingredients in a dish.

All food businesses are obliged to provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in foods sold or provided by them. There are also new requirements for businesses which are providing loose food, such as supermarket food counters, delicatessens, restaurants and takeaways.

This information needs to be listed clearly in an obvious place such as a menu, chalkboard or an information pack. If it is not provided in the public area, you will need to signpost where allergen information can be obtained, either in written or oral formats.

Failure to supply such information could result in the business facing civil and legal action.

Allergen advice, information and resources, including translations into Punjabi, Urdu, Simplified Chinese and Bengali, can be found on the FSA website.


Contact us

Contact the environmental health team for your local council, by selecting their logo or go to Dorset County Council's logo for trading standards

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