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UKHospitality provides interim advice on new Acrylamide legislation

UKHospitality has published interim guidance to reduce acrylamide levels in food following new legislation which comes into force today, 11 April.

The regulation requires food businesses to identify potential sources of acrylamide and demonstrate that they have taken appropriate action to reduce the levels of acrylamide according to the principle of ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable).

The document provides operators with best practice guidance on how to reduce acrylamide in their food businesses.

The guide has been developed with input from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and other key stakeholders in the catering and food service sector.

The interim guidance comes before official EU guidance, but once that is released, UKHospitality will update its guidelines.

Acrylamide is a chemical that is created when many foods – particularly starchy foods such as potatoes and bread – are cooked at high temperatures, such as when baking, frying, grilling, toasting or roasting.

Scientific research has concluded that acrylamide has the potential to be carcinogenic.

Dr Lisa Ackerley, UKHospitality food safety expert, said: “Over the last 18 months UKHospitality has been working with the FSA, FSS and other stakeholders to produce practical guidance for caterers on the Acrylamide regulations which have been implemented today. Unfortunately, the EU guidance is not yet finalised, meaning some critical areas of clarification are still required as to scope and interpretation.

“It is regrettable that despite our considerable efforts we have been unable to produce a final document for the hospitality sector in time for the implementation of the regulations.” She continued, “UKHospitality is committed to guaranteeing that not only we but also our members have full confidence in the integrity of the guidance.”

She added: “Until there is total clarity about which businesses fall under the more onerous part of the regulations, and what foods fall into scope, we unfortunately are not able to provide the industry with the much-needed guidance they require to be confident they are complying with the new regulations.

“UKHospitality trusts that enforcement officers, who themselves will be relying on our guidance, will be mindful of this when considering taking any enforcement action until we all know where we stand when the EU publishes its guidance.”

The guide is available for download.

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