Friday, August 31, 2012

Economic downturn no excuse for sloppy hygiene

Reporter Katie Chapman writes in the Dominion Post this week that some restaurants in Wellington are blaming their lapses in hygiene on the economic downturn.  The number of restaurants temporarily closed has more than doubled in the last six months compared with the average over the last five years.  In addition, one in five restaurants managed to achieve only the minimum standard.

Rodent and cleaning failures were the reasons given for temporary closures of all eight restaurants between February and July this year.  In most cases, the restaurants reopened within a day.  This suggests that the effort required to keep them clean and hygienic would not be very great if cleaning and self inspection were done on a daily basis.

Hard times are no excuse for sloppy hygiene, even if staff numbers have been reduced.  It's essentially the same argument sometimes presented against a requirement for food companies to have risk based food safety plans - "We can't be expected to have a food safety plan, we are only a small operation and we can't afford it".

My suggestion is "If you can't afford to keep your premises clean and rodent free, you can't afford to be in business;  if you cause a food poisoning outbreak, you'll pretty soon be out of business and looking for work somewhere else".

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