regulations on food safe equipment

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lily the pink 

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I am a very new bee. Can anyone help me end an argument and point me at the actual regulations that govern what equipment can or can't be used for honey processing please? I'm thinking specifically about food safe equipment.

Thank you.
 

oliver90owner 

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I think you may find that honey, while being a unique product, should be handled at all stages of preparation for sale/use in exactly the same way as any other food item.

One or two specialised pieces of equipment (extractor per eg), but nothing else really different to any other foodstuff. So general regulations apply.

It's a good job the frames do not have to be made of food grade materials (it may eventually happen!).

Perhaps a more specific example, of what the argument revolves around, would make a simple reply more likely.

Regards, RAB

BTW welcome to the forum
 

Rosti 

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There is more food law in the UK than anywhere else in the world in cluding the US. The main bits for your question centre of the following.

The UK Food Safety Act.
The main responsibilities can be summarised as:
• to ensure you do not include anything in food, remove anything from food or treat food in any way which means it would be damaging to the health of people eating it
• to ensure that the food you serve or sell is of the nature, substance or quality which consumers would expect
• to ensure that the food is labeled, advertised and presented in a way that is not false or misleading

Main catch all on food safety, including food contact equipment and its hygiene is section 7. Essentially food contact surfaces must be smooth, impervious and intact. The offence covers physical, chemical and biological contamination. These are the 3 main elements of hazard analysis risk assessment required under international codex and referenced in the Unified European Food Safety Directive (below). There is also another nice legal catch all "Producing / selling food not of the nature substance or quality demanded". As a final touch it is one of the few pieces of UK legislation where you are guilty of an offence unless you can prove otherwise. To allow this 'proof' to be presented there is the 'defense of all due diligence and all reasonable precautions', main bit for your question is:

7 Rendering food injurious to health. - copied text from the act.

(1)Any person who renders any food injurious to health by means of any of the following operations, namely—
(a)adding any article or substance to the food;
(b)using any article or substance as an ingredient in the preparation of the food;
(c)abstracting any constituent from the food; and
(d)subjecting the food to any other process or treatment,
with intent that it shall be sold for human consumption, shall be guilty of an offence.
(2)In determining for the purposes of this section and section 8(2) below whether any food is injurious to health, regard shall be had—
(a)not only to the probable effect of that food on the health of a person consuming it; but
(b)also to the probable cumulative effect of food of substantially the same composition on the health of a person consuming it in ordinary quantities.
(3)In this Part “injury”, in relation to health, includes any impairment, whether permanent or temporary, and “injurious to health” shall be construed accordingly.


178/2002 EU Food safety Directive
this lays down the general principles and requirements of food law, main part of interest to you will be:
Article 14 - sets out 'food safety requirements': in particular that food shall not be placed on the market if it is unsafe. It is deemed to be unsafe if it is considered to be injurious to health or unfit for human consumption. (was originally section 8 of the UK food safety act)
 

tonybloke 

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good post rosti ! it's good to have specialist knowledge on the forum, it's part of what makes it such a good resource.
 

psafloyd 

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Can we make Rosti's post a sticky, please, admin?
 

peterbees 

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Food grade polythene or stainless steel are essential when handling honey. Old tin plated or galvanized honey extractors or settling tanks should no longer be used when handling honey for sale.
 

oliver90owner 

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when handling honey for sale.

That includes distribution for no cost, as well (ie given away).

RAB
 

Rosti 

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:iagree: with RAB

The Food Safety Act was deliberately written to cover all food prepared for consumption whether or not sold for profit or cost contribution, including a family organised wedding, school fetes and the very nice ladies that do tea and scones for charity in York.

RABs other comment concerning wooden frames is never likey to happen though. The frame is part of the 'rearing' process and integral to pre-harvest activity. The FSA defers to the The EU Food Safety Directive on this point which specifically only comes into force post harvest. The EFSD requires all processors and producers (including extraction, grading and packing operations of primary agricultural products such as honey) to operate a food safety analysis system called HACCP - hazard analysis and critical control points. HACCP asks us to consier food safety risks, analyse their threat, remove that threat if we can and control that threat if we can't. Ultimately it feeds to a set of Critical Contol Points CCPs which are the last chance to control such threats.

Take the example of the wooden frames. They present two primary risks; a physical one -wooden splinters; and a microbiological threat - associated micro flora trapped within them, transferable to the honey at extraction.

The wooden splinter foreign body threat is controled by a CCP - filtering to an appropriate size, anything that gets through is so small that is may be a quality issue but not a food safety risk.

The microbiological threat is eleminated as a CCP requirement by consideration of the honey's composition which does not support micro growth.

Anyone who bottles honey for consumption by others should be registered with the local Council food safety team (was called environmental health) and have a completed HACCP study for their process.
 
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RoseCottage 

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Hands up those that have...?

I haven't ...all news to me in my kitchen...:cool:

Sam
 

Storm™ 

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Anyone that provides/prepares food should also (sorry if it's covered above I could not see it) have an in date food higene certificate. You can organise these through your local council. And if you have one in Cornwall it's run from a grotty little classroom in Bodmin.

And I do not know a single old lady at the local church Market who has one lol.
 

BobH1 

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Can anyone explain the hazards in an old tin plate extractor (because I have one!), when and why were they banned.

Similarly I have a "monel metal" settling tank; is that still OK or not?
 

Headnavigator 

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Anyone that provides/prepares food should also (sorry if it's covered above I could not see it) have an in date food higene certificate. You can organise these through your local council.
At a price, Storm, at a price.
 

Poly Hive 

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I am not sure that a hygiene cert would be required for processing/selling honey.

They are available on line if needed at about £25 to do the course and exam.

Our last inspector was quite impressed that we actually had one! and even more impressed that we both had one!!!

PH
 

Taylan 

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Hi PH
very interested in getting a certificate where abouts on line would I find the site would be pleased for any imformation thanks Taylan
 

nonstandard 

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Level 1 for £15.50 + VAT here: http://www.food-hygienecertificate.co.uk/?gclid=CIu18L_fqKcCFQoY4QodRjLGCA
Thanks PH would never have thought of it as something one could do online!
My better half has taught Basic Food Hygiene in her past and I can assure you that the level 1 is a 'basic' certificate, Yes it is available online but it is not necessarily the best way to get it unless you already have an understanding of food hygiene.

My LA are trying to organise someone to come in and put any interested members through the level 1. One personal thought would be for LA's to get one person qualified to a high enough level get everyone else through their level 1
 

lily the pink 

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Thank you all for your speedy and informative replies! I will go and study the regulations now, and make a few enquiries locally about food hygiene certificates, in a general sort of way...

I remember all the fuss that was caused a few years ago about WI Markets having to close because none of the members had "safe" kitchens (!) and felt sure this would affect me bottling honey in my own kitchen.

Now all I have to do is look after my new bees so that they collect some honey for me to bottle.

Again, thank you all - and I'm sure I'll be back for more advice.

LTP:nature-smiley-013:
 

Rosti 

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I agree with non-standard. The food hygiene cert system is aimed largely at catering establishments and intermediate / small food processors. It is very focussed on microbiological hazards and then does a bit on foreign body control and of course personal hygiene and the hygiene of the room and equipment used. Very obvious stuff.

Any beek capable of getting something sensible out of Hoopers the first time you read it is totally capable of finding this out for themselves. You have to prove competence to the food safety team, that does not always require a certificate. A due diligence and all reasonable precautions defence allows for this and allows for specialists and self study. If your haccp is sound then by definition you have proved knowledge and competence. R
 

Poly Hive 

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Well folks it's like this.

For business reasons we used Virtual college, wwwdotlvirtual-collegedotcodotuk for our "Foundation Food Hygiene" course.

I cannot see why this should result in adverse comments as our local Council is very pleased that we have them. We have put through two members of staff with no previous academic knowledge of food hygiene and they found it very beneficial.

From my offshore oil experience monel is non magnetic stainless steel material and should be of food grade quality.

Tinplate these days is considered to NOT be food grade material and whilst perfectly acceptable for producing honey FOR YOUR OWN consumption, if you even give it away you are on tricky grounds if your gift causes issues.

I agree completely Rosti, and thankfully the local council I dealt with took the same view, that is we had a thought out documented system, and it was obvious (dedicated honey house) that we knew what we were doing.

PH
 
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