It is really important that If you give the food that you sell a description, that you check that what you are saying is correct and not misleading. Failure to do so could lead you into trouble.
Checks on the descriptions and ingredients of kebab meat by Trading Standards Officers in Dorset have led to one business being prosecuted for the way that it described food products that it sold.
Officers of the Trading Standards Service purchased a kebab which was described on a menu as a ‘Lamb Doner – Famous Turkish dish of specially seasoned fresh lamb seasoned with herbs and spices grilled on an upright spit then carved’. It was found that the kebab contained both lamb and beef meat and further enquires revealed that the kebab meat was delivered frozen and was not fresh as stated on the menu.
The trader was found guilty of making misleading statements to its customers about the meat in its Doner Kebabs and the Court ordered that the business pay a total of £2050 in fines and costs.
Any Dorset business that is unsure of their legal responsibilities under trading standards legislation can call the Trading Standards Business Advice Line on 01305 224702.
Payment Surcharging is when a fee is charged for the use of a particular method of payment such as a credit card.
New rules introduced on 13th January 2018 prohibit traders from levelling a surcharge for the use of Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Electronic Payment Systems such as Pay Pal, and Apple or Android Pay, for consumer transactions.
Surcharges are still permitted in relation to other methods of payments eg cash or cheques, but the charge made may not exceed the actual cost incurred by the business in processing your payment. If a surcharge is made the amount must be made known to the consumer up front, alongside the main price they will pay. Further details about how these rules apply to your businessonline. or from your local Trading Standards Service:
Dorset Trading Standards: 01305 224702 or email@example.com
Paws for thought
Exactly how long humans have been keeping pets is not known but evidence suggests that the first dogs were living alongside us as early as 36,000 years ago. Over time our initial relationship with animals, based on mutual practicality and protection, has evolved into one of companionship and the range of species we choose to share our lives with has expanded, with cats and dogs topping the popularity poll.
There is a common misconception in the UK that dogs, in particular, are not allowed in food premises. This is not the case. A business operator has the right to refuse entry due to personal policies however many businesses accept animals onto their premises with some going as far as providing the odd doggy snack.
Familiarity aside, it is important to remember that animals, Including cats and dogs can carry bacteria and parasites that have serious health implications, including blindness, for their human companions. For this reason, domestic animals are regarded as food pests. Businesses welcoming dogs onto their premises, petting farms and home caterers with pets are legally obliged to ensure that animals are not allowed to contaminate food intended for human consumption.
Pet friendly caterers must ensure:
Animal related paraphernalia such as bowls, food and toys are not allowed to contaminate food intended for human consumption.
Home caterers with pets, especially cats, should clean down surfaces and equipment before preparation with an approved British Standard sanitiser.
Pets should not enter food storage or preparation areas, especially if an animal is sick or when food preparation is taking place.
Ensure effective handwashing, especially after touching animals.
Please contact your local Food hygiene team if you require further information.
Mobile food traders
Summer is a time mobile traders take to the streets and fields to take advantage of the passing seasonal trade. Good planning is crucial to consumer safety, your reputation and ensuring legal compliance. The following tips will help you deliver high quality and safe food at your events:
Where are getting your food from? It must be from reputable suppliers.
How are you getting food onsite? Consider options for staying stocked up.
How will you store the food on site? Make sure you have enough fridge and freezer capacity and the power to run them properly.
Where will the food be prepared? Food preparation areas must be fit for purpose taking into account cross contamination, cleaning and personal hygiene in all weathers.
How will the food be held before service? Ensure temperature and time combinations are in keeping with safe practice.
What about staff? Ensure staff are appropriately trained, watch out for bad practice and consider a backup plan for if staff fall ill.
What happens if things go wrong? Think about what you will do in the event of an unforeseen event such as high winds, heavy rain or loss of power. If you can’t serve food safely then you must stop.