Food Hygiene Requirements for a B&B
Although B&Bs don't often provide evening meals and aren't likely to have a professional kitchen, there are still Food Safety Regulations to adhere to.
Legal Status for a B&BA bed and breakfast is considered a food business and you must register with your Local Authority before you open up to paying guests. You won't have to pay a fee for this registration and you can either download a form from your Local Authority's website or request for one to be posted to you. Even if you are taking over an up and running B&B you still need to register in your name.
Once your registration has been received an Environmental Health Officer will come round to inspect the premises for compliance with hygiene rules.
An Inspector CallsIn preparation for this visit you must assure that your kitchen is suitably designed for safe working practices, especially the separation of raw meat from cooked and ready to eat foods. The structure of your kitchen must be sound and the surfaces capable of being cleaned and kept clean. This also applies to any equipment you use for the preparation of food, chopping boards for example. Your work surfaces need to be smooth and non absorbent, likewise the walls, ceiling and floor.
Make sure your kitchen has enough lighting to enable you to see whether the food is cooked properly. You should also have enough ventilation and windows that open. A constant supply of hot water is required as well as good, drinkable cold water.
It's a good idea to have a supply of anti-bacterial soap next to your sink so that it can be seen that you wash your hands regularly; always after handling raw meat. You must wear clean clothing and a clean apron while in the kitchen and ideally cover longer hair with a cap or net.
Food Storage is CriticalCheck how you store your food. Foods that need to be in the refrigerator should be in the refrigerator. Hygiene regulations state that raw meats should be stored at the bottom of your fridge to prevent cross contamination. Any food in open tins has to be decanted into suitable lidded containers. High risk foods such as cooked meat and ready-to-eat foods have to be kept at or below 8ºC by law.
The Environmental Health Officer needs to see written evidence of your food safety management system. How simple or detailed this system is depends on the size of your business and how many customers you have. There is a ready made pack you can order from the Food Standards Agency website, which will make your B&B fully compliant with this requirement. You can ask advice on which parts of the pack are relevant to you.
Of course the cooking of foods is very important and you should make sure that all food is cooked thoroughly before serving. Cooling and reheating of foods also has to receive proper attention.
General GuidelinesMore general requirements include not allowing any pets into the kitchen, and washing laundry at different times to food preparation if your washing machine is in the kitchen. If you have suffered from sickness and diarrhoea you must not cook food for your guests until you are well again.
You need to defrost any foods in the fridge, not on the work surface and your freezer should be defrosted regularly. It is recommended that eggs are stored in the fridge.
Keep an eye out for any pests. Your kitchen should be designed to prevent access by pests, but if you do see evidence of them you must take immediate action to eradicate them.