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British Food Journal Volume 53 Issue 5 1951

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 May 1951


The majority of Authorities who are responsible for the enforcement of that portion of the Food and Drugs Act dealing with the hygiene of food premises have recognised that legislation, even when coupled with regular inspections, is insufficient to produce the desired result. Many of them have embarked upon lectures, others on more lengthy schemes of training for the employees, some have linked this with special standards to be adopted for premises, such as the Clean Food Guild instituted at Guildford, Holborn and other large Boroughs. These standards have met with very mixed receptions from the various organisations of the food traders; some of them adopting the view that establishments of old construction are unduly penalised, as compared with premises of modern design. The consensus of opinion, however, among both the local authorities and food traders, is the desirability of giving training facilities to those engaged in the industry. These courses may range from one to five lectures with a comprehensive syllabus, and are usually accompanied by films such as “ Another Case of Poisoning ”, “ Insect Pests in Food”, and the film strips of the Central Council for Health Education. It is interesting, at this stage, to compare the approach of the American authorities to this problem. Reviewing the United States Public Health Services booklet “ Guide to Safe Food Service ” a similar conclusion has been drawn, that, whilst the prevention of food poisoning outbreaks was at first handled almost entirely through legislation and enforcement, this often proved unsatisfactory and inadequate. Coercion at times was found to create resentment, and often postponed an understanding of correct practices until after Court action had been taken. Another approach was the physical examination of all restaurant workers, but this did not give the desired results; such inspections tending to promote a false sense of security, inasmuch as no examination can ensure freedom from communicable diseases during the period between examinations. Experience with food sanitation courses, as they are termed, soon demonstrated their practicability and effectiveness. It was found that education explained the reasons for the requirements of the laws and regulations and thereby gained acceptance for them; the decisive factor being that such courses were popular and further lectures were requested. Where co‐operation was enlisted by means of these lectures inspectors had far less difficulty in carrying out their work. Frequent inspections should be coupled with the education programme to serve as a reminder of the need to observe correct practices. The recommendations given to the lecturers could well be digested by many in this country. On regular inspections, during the course of his duties, the inspector should build up good working relations as he talks informally with the owner and employees about their problems. He should avoid a policeman's attitude, and, as a good officer of the law, he should carefully refrain from taking liberties with it, As a teacher, he should be careful not to fall into a condescending attitude, and criticisms must be brought out of the realm of fault‐finding. The Guide, a booklet of some sixty pages, gives advice to members of the Health Department on the formation of such a course, and stresses the advisability of having a representative committee to assist in this formation. It has been found, too, in this country that, if food hygiene lectures are to be successful, it is essential that the goodwill and backing be obtained, not only of the trade associations such as the hoteliers and restaurateurs, but of the branches of the respective trade unions representing the employees. In this way specialist lectures to the various groups can be organised, with previous knowledge of the scope and numbers involved. Lectures should be organised within normal working hours, with additional lectures for those for whom this is not practicable. Lectures to employers should, in all cases, be given prior to undertaking the training of their staff. The American method of approaching the problem of lectures has obviously been subject to detailed analysis, and it is felt that the three points given below can be considered with advantage by those responsible for lecturing to food handlers in this country. The methods of presentation should always take into account the fact that—


(1951), "British Food Journal Volume 53 Issue 5 1951", British Food Journal, Vol. 53 No. 5, pp. 41-50.




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