Regulations in the Food and Restaurant Industry
Any business involved in the food or restaurant business is required to follow Industry regulations. This is because selling any type of food to the public can cause health and safety issues, especially when the proper standards are not kept.
Here are some of Laws and regulations required by the Food Industry
Licenses or permits required:
- Business License: You will need to apply for a business license, which is under the Business Act (1991). This includes anybody who wishes to open a full service restaurant and those who only want to open a takeaway business.
- Health And Safety permits: In the food Industry there are certain regulations that govern Hygiene, according to the Health Act (1977). Any business that handles food, from the transport of food to the serving of food in restaurants, need to have a certificate of acceptability.
- Other licenses may include a Liquor license and a sound and music license.
How to apply for these licenses and permits depends on the location of the restaurant or business. The best place would be at the local municipality, in the area where your place of business is located. Anybody who does not obtain these licenses or does not follow the regulations, this leaves themselves open to prosecution. This could be in the form of a fine that needs to be paid or even imprisonment.
- You must also be aware of laws regarding smoking, especially in public areas
- Restaurants are categorised under hospitality and therefore also have to adhere to certain labour laws.
- Be aware of the Consumer Protection act and liability claims
- Other details for opening a restaurant may include, rent and supply agreements. If possible get an attorney to look at any agreements to avoid missing any hidden clauses.
Health and Safety, Pests in the Food Industry
Being in the Food Industry there are unfortunately a few pests out there that can cause harm. Any food retail business should take active steps to maintain health, safety and sanitation standards, to prevent any pest infestation.
What could happen if health standards are not met?
- Loss of customers and therefore sales
- Damaged items or food can cause financial loss
- Could be prosecuted by authorities
- You could land up having to close the business
‘Each and every member of the food industry, from farm to fork, must create a culture where food safety and nutrition is paramount.’ Bill Marler, food safety attorney
What pests are the most common?
- Number one on the list are rodents. Mice and rats are attracted by food and usually they make their nests close to their food source. Rodents can easily damage food supplies and other equipment as well as contaminate food, and spread diseases. To ensure eradication or prevention of a rodent problem, make sure your building is secure and get professionals in to eliminate any problems.
- Flies, these pests are attracted to food odours and can also contaminate any food sources. Practicing basic hygiene principles will help to control flies, cleaning surfaces, getting rid of rotting food, dispose garbage regularly and putting in place things like screens on doors and windows if necessary.
- Cockroaches are a real problem because they can get into such small spaces. They also reproduce extremely rapidly and can be carrying diseases. Not something you want near food. Good sanitation practices and regular inspections can help prevent this problem.
- Ants can find their way through the smallest gap into food sources and cause damage to the food and packaging.
- Other bugs like weevils, flour moths, pantry moth, beetles and mites can also contaminate and damaging food sources.
- Birds can also be a problem, causing damage to buildings; the bird droppings contaminate food and surfaces. The best way to avoid this is to make sure that any access to the building and any food are controlled.
Implementing an effective pest control programme
Quality pest control is important in any food related industry, so what points should you consider for an effective pest control programme.
- Inspections: Regular weekly inspections and monitoring of pests is the best way to prevention.
- Taking prevention action: address any problems that arises immediately during inspection before they become a more serious problem. Knowing where the pests are coming from can also deal with the problem more effectively.
- Make a correct identification: Knowing what type of pest you are dealing with may help to get rid of the pest more efficiently. This is best done by a professional pest control company.
- Treatment options: Use the right treatment method for the problem, this may mean trying non-chemical methods as well as chemical.
- Keep documentation on all your efforts for audit purposes. Such things like reports on what pesticides you used and pest activity reports