Coronavirus

Food safety in jeopardy due to hospitality staff crisis, says health expert

Environmental health expert Kirstie Jones is warning the pace in which both waiting on and back-of-house hospitality staff are being positioned into new roles could mean that food safety standards are risking consumer safety

Food safety standards are in “jeopardy” due to the hospitality industry’s staff crisis, according to a leading health expert.

Kirstie Jones, environmental health expert at Navitas Safety, is warning that the pace in which both waiting on and back-of-house hospitality staff are being positioned into new roles could mean that food safety standards are risking consumer safety.

A recent survey by UKHospitality found a current vacancy rate across the sector of 9%, which implies a shortage of 188,000 workers.

On the industry’s growing health crisis, Jones said: “For many previously furloughed employees it may have been months since they have been at work, and with staff shortages across the sector there is a vast number of new recruits who have no prior experience working in a food-related environment.

“Not only has Covid-19 meant regulations have changed dramatically since pre-pandemic, but it is imperative that businesses actively train staff and update their safety procedures as they hire new people, particularly as new laws, digitalised menus and table service come into play.”

 

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