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Enc. 1 for Food Service Plan

APPENDIX I

 

 

MID KENT FOOD SAFETY

 

SERVICE DELIVERY PLAN

 

2015 – 2016

 

Drawn up in accordance with the Food Standards Agency’s Framework Agreement on Local Authority enforcement (amendment 5)

 

 

 

Author:            Peter Lincoln, Food and Safety Team Leader

                        Nollaig Hallihan, Food and Safety Team Leader

 

Approved by: Tracey Beattie, Environmental Health Manager

 

Date:  7 September 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CONTENTS PAGE

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 


1.       SERVICE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

 

1.1     Aims of the service

1.2     Links to Corporate Objectives and Plans

 

 

2.       BACKGROUND

 

2.1     Profile of the Mid - Kent authorities

2.2     Organisational structure

2.3     Scope of the food service

2.4     Demands on the service

2.5     Regulation policy

 

3.        SERVICE DELIVERY

 

3.1     Interventions at food establishments

3.2     Food complaints

3.3     Home and Primary Authority Principle

3.4     Advice to businesses

3.5     Sampling

3.6     Control of food related infectious disease

3.7     Food safety incidents

3.8     Liaison with other organisations

3.9         Food safety promotion

3.10          National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

3.11          Imported Food

 

4.       RESOURCES

 

4.1     Financial allocation

4.2     Staffing allocation

4.3     Staff development plan

 

5.   QUALITY ASSESSMENT

 

5.1  Quality assessment and internal monitoring

 

6.      IT QUALITY

 

7. POLICIES & PROCEDURES

 

8. REVIEW OF SERVICE PLAN

 

8.1  Variations from Service Plan

8.2  Areas of Improvement

 

Appendix 1: Revisit Criteria Matrix



INTRODUCTION

 

Local Authorities are required by the Food Standards Agency to produce an annual service plan, to be submitted for approval and ensure local transparency and accountability.  The Agency has provided a template for local authorities to follow, if they choose, on which this plan is based. 

 

Included in the service plan:

 

§     Information about the service we provide;

 

§     The means by which we will provide it, including the various requirements of the Food Standards Agency;

 

§     The means by which we will meet any relevant performance targets or standards;

 

§     A review of performance in order to address any variance from meeting the requirements of the service plan.

 

1.0   Service Aims & Objectives

 

The Mid Kent Food Safety Service aims to protect and improve the quality of life of the local community, workforce and visitors.  The Food and Safety Teams will ensure as far as is reasonably practicable, that all food produced, sold and consumed within the Mid Kent area is safe and that all food business operators comply with their statutory requirements. There are approximately 3642 within the Mid Kent Food Safety Service. More than 2757 of these are restaurants and cafes and there are 24 Approved premises. 

 

The overall aim of the Food Service in relation to its Food enforcement activity is to reduce the risk to public health from food purchased, produced or eaten in the Mid Kent area.  

 

1.1       The service objectives are to:

 

·        Undertake the proactive food law inspections of food businesses and publish hygiene ratings

·        Investigate complaints about poor food hygiene or safety standards in food businesses.

·        Investigate complaints about food purchased, produced or distributed within the Mid Kent Service. 

·        To control and investigate cases of food poisoning, food borne diseases and other infectious diseases.

·        Approve and monitor compliance with food law in businesses manufacturing products of animal origin.

·        Sample and arrange for physical, chemical, compositional and microbiological testing of food.

·        Maintain a register of all food businesses including checks on temporary closed and unrated premises.

·        Respond in a proportionate way to food safety incidents and Food Alerts.

·        Promote and regulate food safety and health and safety in food businesses.

·        To deal with illegally imported food products on sale within the Mid Kent Area.

·        To deliver Food Hygiene Training courses and other bespoke training to food handlers and businesses.

·        To advise the general public, new and existing business on good practice in relation to food safety.

·        To promote food safety through initiatives based on local needs.

·        To maintain a high quality, professional workforce providing high value services to the council taxpayer.

·        To work with other government agencies and bodies to maintain or improve standards in food businesses located in the area.

  • To periodically review the team’s performance against the Food Service Plan.

 

1.2  Links to Corporate Objectives and Plans

 

‘Health’ is a key driver in the plans of each local authority.

 

Hygiene of businesses is one of the Government’s national enforcement priorities for local authority regulatory services.

 

1.3 Equality Issues:

 

The service has an approach to enforcement based on the Central Government Concordat on Good Enforcement and the ‘Better Regulation’ agenda. Our enforcement policy underpins the approach to ensure that all enforcement activity is conducted openly, consistently, fairly and targeted at those posing the highest risk to food safety.

 

We will work towards a culture in which we question and challenge assumptions about services and re-assess them on the basis of equality and need according to each Council’s Corporate Equality Strategy.

 

 

2.0              BACKGROUND

 

2.1                    Profile of the Local Authority

 

 (See Local and Corporate Plans of each authority)

 

 


 

2.2                    Organisational Structure

 

The lead food officer for food safety is the Food and Safety Team Leader from each of the two teams in the partnership, who has the day to day responsibility for managing their team and its performance.

 

The service has appointed the following accredited Laboratories to carry out analysis and or examination:

 

Chemical Sampling

Kent Scientific Services

8 Abbey Wood Road

Kings Hill

West Malling

ME19 6YT

Contact Person: John Griffin (Public Analyst)

Microbiological

PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND

London Food, Water & Environmental Unit

Food Hygiene Laboratory

Central Public Health  Laboratory

61 Colindale Avenue

London NW9 5HT

 

Contact Person:  Sheila Platt  (Food examiner)

Norovirus analysis of shellfish samples

CEFAS

Weymouth Laboratory

Barrack Road,

The Nothe

Weymouth

Dorset  DT4 8UB

 

Contact Person :  Louise Richens

Faecal

Microbiology and Infection Service

Royal Sussex County Hospital

Eastern Road

Brighton

East Sussex

BN2 5BE

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.3              Scope of the Food Service

 

Since June 2014 the Food and Safety Teams in Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells have become one service in the Mid Kent Shared Service partnership. The ‘North’ team, comprising officers from Swale and Maidstone are based in offices in Sittingbourne. The ‘South’ team is in Tunbridge Wells.

 

The majority of the work is concentrated in food safety.  Health and safety at work, infectious disease control and the registration of special treatments takes up the remainder of the time. Animal welfare is carried out in Tunbridge Wells

 

Food composition, labelling, and feeding stuffs are dealt with by Kent County Council Trading Standards.

 

The two teams each have a team leader reporting to the Environmental Health Manager.

 

The London Port Health Authority assists in the monitoring of shellfish in The Swale, under contract.

 

The teams enforce food safety in all food premises through targeted interventions. We also respond to food service requests/complaints, the investigation of food poisoning notifications and outbreaks, food sampling programmes, imported food, infectious disease control, infestation of food premises, sampling and classification of shellfish, complaints made against commercial premises, and dealing with general enquiries from the public.

 

The teams carry out interventions in premises risk-rated as A - D, all specialist premises approved under EC law, other specialist premises and all enforcement work.

 

Premises rated E-risk are targeted as part of an alternative enforcement strategy, using questionnaires to track changes in food operations that may trigger an intervention.

 


2.4 Demands on the Service

 

Premises profile

 

On the 1st April 2015 there were 3,642 operating food premises within the Mid Kent Shared Service. The table below shows the number of food businesses in each risk category per area.

 

 

Category

Swale

Maidstone

Tunbridge Wells

Total

A

1

2

3

6

B

59

25

17

101

C

400

211

167

778

D

299

405

389

1,093

E

425

565

490

1,480

N

86

40

60

186

TOTAL

1,270

1,248

1,124

3,642

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Swale

 

There are 8 premises approved under EU Vertical Directives, including a cheese manufacturer, meat and fish products and a cold store. Sittingbourne has one of the largest bottling and packing plants for cherries and other fruit in Europe, whilst Faversham has one of the oldest breweries in the country.

 

The service is delivered from Swale House. Officers work according to business demands involving evening and weekend visits to those premises that are inaccessible during ‘normal’ working hours.

 

In Swale there is a diversity of catering establishments. A small number of restaurants and takeaways are operated by persons whose first language is not English.  Additionally, a number of food premises close for the winter season.

 

In the summer months there is an increase in fast food and mobile food operators within the district and a general increase in business as tourism attracts an influx of people, especially on caravan and chalet sites on the Isle of Sheppey.

 

There are a number of markets operating most weeks within the Borough.

 

As a coastal authority the Council has responsibility for sampling of shellfish including mussels, cockles & oysters. The London Port Health Authority carries out sampling and monitoring on our behalf. Currently 5 beds are classified as B*, with a mixture of mussels, oysters and cockles.

 

(*B classification means molluscs can be released for human consumption after they reach appropriate microbiological standards following purification at an approved plant).

 

Maidstone

 

Maidstone is the county town of Kent. There are 6 premises approved under EU Vertical Directives, including dairy, meat and egg products. Maidstone has the largest population of all the Kent Districts. There are a diverse number of food premises are situated in the town centre supporting a thriving night time economy.  The majority of businesses are catering establishments there are a number of large manufacturers of low risk foods as well as on small scale cheese producers, pasteurised milk producer dispersed across the rural communities. The M20 runs through Maidstone attracting number of distribution warehouses, and 6 Approved premises in the district.  Other significant rural communities are Boxley, Headcorn, Marden, Lenham and Staplehurst. 

 

Tunbridge Wells

 

There are 10 premises approved under EU Vertical Directives, including a cheese manufacturer and meat and fish products. The service is delivered from Tunbridge Wells Town Hall. Officers work according to business demands involving evening and weekend visits to premises that are inaccessible during ‘normal’ working hours.

 

The main urban area is the historic town of Royal Tunbridge Wells and Southborough and the two market towns of Cranbrook and Paddock Wood. Beyond these towns, the Borough is predominantly rural in character and nearly 70% of the borough is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

 

 

2.5       Regulation Policy

 

The three local authorities have adopted or follow the Government’s Enforcement Concordat and each has an Enforcement Policy based upon its principles. The enforcement policy is consistent with the revised Regulators Code issued on 06 April 2014.  In addition to this there is an Environmental Health Enforcement Policy for the shared service.

 

The policy seeks to ensure that local businesses comply with important statutory requirements designed to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees, the public and the environment whilst placing the minimum possible burden on businesses.

 

The principles of enforcement meet the requirements of the Better Regulation Executive and the ‘Hampton principles’ to reduce the burden on small businesses by targeting food business operators posing the highest risk to food safety and taking a ‘softer touch’ approach to lower risk and fully compliant operators.

 

 

 

3.0       Service Delivery

 

 

3.1 Food Premises Interventions

 

Programmed Inspections

Programmed inspections of food businesses are carried out in broad accordance with the frequencies determined by the inspection rating system set out within the Food Law Code of Practice (England) Annex 5. Premises assessed as presenting greater risk (A, B & C) are conducted strictly within the prescribed timescales. Premises in lower risk categories namely category D are also inspected whilst premises which are category E are subject to our alternative enforcement strategy.  

 

Health and Safety inspections of food premises are not routinely carried out unless matters of evident concern are identified or as part of other H&S intervention projects.   The food premises database is maintained on the corporate IT Database – Uniform.

The high-risk inspection programme outlined for 2015/16 is shown below:

 

 

Category

Swale

Maidstone

Tunbridge Wells

Total

A

0

2

3

5

B

52

22

13

87

TOTAL

52

24

16

92

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will employ a selection of interventions to reduce the risk ratings and ensure compliance of high-risk (Category A and B) food premises. These will include:

 

·         Delivering 100% of the high-risk food inspection programme (Category A and B). Wherever possible the same officer will be allocated to conduct the inspection as the previous year to ensure a consistent approach and appropriate escalation of enforcement action.

·      Identification of premises who have a rating of 2 or under from the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and working with these businesses to improve the rating (this will be done in 2016/2017).  

New premises

New premises will be registered accordingly and allocated to officers for inspection. This figure will vary year on year but on average there are 100 new businesses per year per district.

 

 

Delivering a targeted intervention programme in medium risk premises

The remaining resources will be targeted strategically amongst our medium and low risk premises on the following basis:

 

All premises defined as not broadly compliant will receive a full programmed inspection. This will result in a further 836 planned programmed inspections

 

 

Category

Swale

Maidstone

Tunbridge Wells

Total

C

254

145

163

562

D

69

107

98

274

TOTAL

323

252

261

836

 

A proactive inspection will be carried out when a complaint or service request is received about premises that are due for a proactive inspection.

Other premises will be targeted where intelligence arises from various sources including the Food Standards Agency and neighbouring authorities.

 

3.2   Food Complaints/Service Requests

 

All officers are expected to respond to all food service requests within the time scales specified in the respective Council’s Performance Targets. Priority is given according to the perceived risk to health. Depending on information received from the complainant & the resource available, some service requests will not be investigated. This includes food poisoning allegations.

 

Revisits

Revisits are carried out following planned inspections but only where deemed appropriate. The revisit matrix criteria are outlined in Appendix 1. Based on previous years’ trends, it is estimated that in the forthcoming year 50 revisits will be carried out. This year we also expect to receive requests for revisits under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and we envisage that 70 additional revisits will be carried out as a result of this.

 

General

The Planned Interventions Procedure details the steps to be followed by officers when carrying out a planned inspection.  This procedure takes into account the current Food Law Codes of Practice, Industry Guidance and advice from Central Government Departments. Results of our planned inspection programme are published via the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

 

All Officers undertaking inspections, investigating complaints, giving advice and taking samples meet the qualifications and experience requirements as detailed by the Food Law Code of Practice (England), Chapter 4.

 

3.3 Home and Primary Authority Principle

 

Swale Borough Council is Home Authority to Shepherd Neame Brewery in Faversham.  This is a partnership involving food hygiene, giving advice to the brewery and other local authorities to promote consistency in food safety management and hygiene enforcement. A formal written agreement was made in October 1997 and renewed in November 2011.  It is estimated that 15 hours officer time was spent on this issue in 2014/15 and it is expected that a similar amount of time will be spent during 2015/16

 

In addition the shared service acts on an “informal” home authority basis for two meat products manufacturers, a food bottling / packing plant and a cheese producer.

 

These companies have informal arrangements with the service whereby advice and guidance is given on matters relating to food hygiene.  Complaint referrals from other local authority enforcement officers relating to these companies are dealt with in our capacity as originating authority.

 

We also have obligations under the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 to co-operate with Primary Authorities.  The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 further extended the partnership arrangements between local authorities [the ‘Primary Authority’], businesses extending activities beyond a single local authority area and the local authorities in whose area they are.

 

We have a statutory duty to follow any ‘Inspection plans’ made by the Primary Authority when visiting businesses within the scheme. This means we will be directed to concentrate only on those areas identified within the Inspection plans. This is to avoid duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy for businesses subject to many inspections at their branches nationwide.

 

 

 

3.4       Advice to business

 

Mid Kent shared service is committed to providing advice to businesses. The Food Service is committed to providing its customers with a comprehensive food information and advice service. Advice is freely available to food businesses either on request or during visits. The Food and Safety Service has an extensive library of information leaflets, in community languages, which are available/sent to food business on request or provided as part of an inspection.

 

The service makes use of the Safer Food Better Business pack which assists food businesses to develop their own food safety systems as required by Regulation (EC) 852/2004, Article 5 para 1. The pack is available free to download from the Food Standards Agency.

 

The Food Service website also provides businesses with advice, information and links to various, relevant websites.

 

Also, prospective and existing operators are advised on the range of training courses that are available to them and their staff.

 

Specific information on the number of requests for advice from local businesses is not available because of the number of sources it can be obtained from. It is estimated that 100 requests for information regarding setting up a new business are received annually.

 

 

Maidstone

Swale

Tunbridge Wells

Food Complaint (hygiene)

35

86

77

Food Complaints (food)

67

33

15

Total Number of Service Requests Received (includes hygiene & food)

468

274

276

 

This is part of the total number of service requests dealt with by the teams and has not been separately assessed for allocation of resources.

 

It only specifies those requests that are logged in the computer system as these usually require a measure of resource to resolve e.g. a visit. It does not include advice given over the telephone or in person, which, although not recorded, is a daily occurrence that can take up a significant amount of time.

 

3.5              Sampling

 

Sampling is carried out according to our Sampling Policy. To prioritise resources, this is confined mainly to the national sampling programme, with guidelines produced by the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) and Local Government Regulation (LGR) and co-ordinated across Kent by the Food Technical Group.  Currently the sampling plan for the three authorities is in line with the Food Standards Agency sampling programme for 2015/16.  It is anticipated that in Quarter 3 and 4 that an imported food sampling project can be delivered across the three authorities.

 

The protocols for sampling are formulated by the Public Health Laboratory Service or LGR (depending on type of survey) and distributed to the Council or downloaded from the LGR website. We also sample as part of a ‘Kent shopping basket’ obtaining a variety of food, coordinated by PHLS.

 

The exception to this is sampling of shellfish in The Swale.

 

60 shellfish samples are submitted annually for microbiological examination (10 per month) with additional samples tested for the presence of algal toxins.

 

It is estimated that sampling will have accounted for 30 hours of officer time in 2015/16, resource allowing.

 

 

3.6       Control and Investigation of Outbreaks and Food Related Infectious Disease

 

Complaints of alleged food poisoning are referred to in 3.2 above.

 

All notifications received from the Public Health England Kent Unit are investigated using Department of Health Guidelines and the Food Poisoning / Infectious Disease Investigation Procedure.

 

Where it becomes apparent that more than one person is affected the Proper Officer is informed and the possibility of an outbreak considered. Outbreaks are investigated in accordance with the Infectious Disease Outbreak Plan drawn up by the Kent Infection Control Committee, in conjunction with the Clinical Director of the Kent Health Protection Unit, who is the Proper Officer. Where a problem of wider importance is discovered, relevant food enforcement authorities and the Food Standards Agency will be notified in accordance with the Food Law Code of Practice.

 

Meetings of the Kent Infection Control Committee are held quarterly with the Clinical Director, other adjoining local authorities, and other health partners.

 

Outbreaks of sickness and diarrhoea are often found in institutional environments, such as care homes and hospitals, generally seasonal, and associated with Norovirus -type infections. Although a number of people are usually affected these are rarely associated with food safety.

 

3.7       Food Safety Incidents

 

Food Alerts are dealt with in accordance with the Food Law Code of Practice and our Food Alert Procedure. All Food Alerts are received electronically and warnings are transmitted electronically. No estimate of resource allocation is available and the demand is determined by external factors.

 

3.8       Liaison with other organisations

 

The Food and Safety Team is committed to ensuring the enforcement approach it takes is consistent with neighbouring authorities and authorities with similar premises. We have regular contact with colleagues in other Kent authorities. There is a conscious effort between the organisations to ensure that there is a consistency of working practices. Arrangements are in place to ensure engagement and collaboration. These are:

 

·         Kent Food Technical Group - The purpose of this body is to review legislation and Codes of Practice and develop good-practice guidance to be available for use by all Kent authorities.

 

·         Kent Sampling Sub-Group who co-ordinate sampling, exchange ideas and provide low-cost training opportunities.

 

·         Inter-Authority Audit Schemes via Kent Environmental Health Manager’s Group

 

·         Local Government Regulation (LGR) – for guidance and advice

 

·         Food Standards Agency – for guidance and training

 

·         Public Health Laboratory Service and the Kent Health Protection Agency [now part of Public Health England] for support in sampling and food poisoning.

 

·         Planning and Building Control Sections – Notification of relevant planning applications are submitted to the Team for perusal and comment and food safety advice is often provided before the formal application is submitted.

 

·         There is regular attendance at the Kent Environmental Health Manager’s Group.

 

3.9       Food Safety Promotion

 

Food safety promotional work includes advice to businesses and education. We offer food safety training (for which a fee is charged) which is mainly the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Level Two in Food Safety in Catering course.

 

We aim to participate in Food Safety week to promote food safety messages from the Food Standards Agency.

 

The food and Safety Team where appropriate will attend business forums, area forums and other opportunities to promote the service.

 

 

3.10   National Food Hygiene rating Scheme

 

Most food businesses inspected receive a rating to be put on the Food Standards Agency Website. This enables consumers to have an idea of the hygiene standards in their local restaurant, caterer or retailer before visiting. Revisit will be carried out to those businesses where a request for a revisit has been received. There is a separate procedure to deal with this.

 

3.11        Imported Food

 

Although all three authorities are ‘Inland’’ and have no Border Inspection Posts, there is a requirement to enforce legislation concerning food imported that does not meet food safety requirements.

 

This is achieved by assessing the origin of food on sale during routine food hygiene visits and checking the integrity of health marks on labelling etc. Powers are available to prevent illegally imported food being on the market.

 

Our sampling programme occasionally includes imported foods.

 

 

4.0              RESOURCES

 

4.1    Financial Allocation

 

Each authority provides financial resources for the food service delivery in proportion to the service demand and number of food businesses inspected. Initially, when the service established in June 2014 database information across the three authorities provided a baseline for the financial arrangement.  This data will be subject to review based on service need and delivery.  For 2015/16 this is £602,395 for the professional food and safety staffing costs across the shared service.  This excludes the administrative and management costs associated with the food safety function.

 

As each authority attributes internal financial charges in different ways, this has not been considered as part of the resource.

 

The IT resource and support for the food service is provided by Mid Kent ICT Service and a Shared Uniform Database currently on Version 9 and due to update to V10 in Dec 2015.  Extensive resources have been provided to establishing the shared database which went ‘live’ in June 2014.  Within the service a high level of administrative support continues, ensuring that the data held for businesses is accurate and officer in put is monitored by the Food & Safety Team Leaders.

 

Legal costs are form part of the internal recharge services and should costs be awarded to the local authority this goes into legal or corporate budgets, except for Maidstone cases.

 

Modest revenue budgets are allocated for equipment to cover temperature monitoring and calibration of equipment, food sampling costs or analysis.

 

 

4.2    Staffing Allocation

 

The agreed budget estimate for the FTE (Full time equivalent) posts in the food service for 2015/16 is provided below.  The Food Standards Agency estimates the average of 1 FTE per 324 food premises.  The average ratio for the Shared Service is 260 premises per officer (including team leaders and admin officers).

Comparison of FTE to Food Premises Ratio

 

 

Maidstone

Swale

Tunbridge Wells

2013

350

540

224

2014

312

508

239

 

 

Budget 2014/15 (£)

Budget 2015/16 (£)

 

Management costs

83,506

84,456

 

Professional Employee Costs

(includes overtime, PRP, NI and Superannuation)

522,537

598,972

 

Transport Expenses

28,250

22,580

 

Administrative support costs

58,485

57,280

 

Income

(including income from litigation)

-7,007

-3,410

 

TOTAL

(available expenditure)

686,771

742,151

 

Staffing Allocation

The actual staffing profile for officers within the Food Service (including support staff) having direct food law enforcement related role as of April 2015 is outlined below:

 

P

Food Function

Other Functions

1x Service Manager

 

0.3 FTE

0.7 FTE spent on a combination of strategic management and managing H&S, environmental protection, and the Tunbridge Wells Health and internal health and safety functions.

 

2 x Team Leaders

1.2 FTE

0.8 FTE spent managing H&S & strategic management

5.4 x Senior Environmental Health Officers

4 FTE

1.4 FTE on H&S

 

3 Environmental Health Officers

2.5 FTE

1. FTE on H&S

4.5 Food & Safety Officers

3.5 FTE

1.0 FTE on H&S reactive work, animal welfare

6.25 Administration Officers

2.5 FTE

3.75 FTE on system administration, environmental protection, contact centre costs and customer contact

Total

14.0 FTE

 

 

 

 

4.3 Staff Development

 

The Service places significant importance in the development and training of staff to ensure that quality services are delivered to our customers. The Food Service will ensure that all staff are appropriately qualified and receive regular training to maintain their level of competency and continuous professional development by completing the RDNA for Food Safety and Health and Safety (completed for 2016/2017). The service recognises the importance of ensuring continuing professional competence in technical areas of work. All officers are duly authorised in accordance with a documented procedure: which outlines qualification criteria, specific experience criteria and competency assessment required. Each officer prepares and carries out an annual training and development plan.  Development needs (outside RDNA) are identified using a competency and skills matrix.  During performance appraisals, training and development needs of staff are identified between staff and managers and these are scheduled to be achieved during the year. Each officer maintains a training and development file containing evidence of formal qualifications, CPD certificates from external and internal courses attended, together with details of agreed, planned training for the forthcoming year.

 

Continuous professional development is compulsory for Environmental Health officers belonging to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Also Food safety officers must comply with the Food Standards Agency Code of Practice and undergo a minimum of 20 hours continuous professional development training in food safety annually.

 

Regular update training is provided in-house for policy and procedures, especially when new legislation or changes in approach occur

 

 

5          Quality Assessment

5.1 Quality assessment & internal monitoring

 

The service is monitored by the Team Leaders and the Environmental Health Manager, who reports progress to the Mid Kent Partnership Board. Work is monitored by accompanied visits, validation exercises, including customer satisfaction surveys, database and correspondence checks.

6          IT Quality

Performance monitoring is supported by the use of the Service’s computer software system Uni-form. The database contains details of all commercial premises and actions against visits for both complaints and programmed inspections. Management Reports and Management Audit Reports produce management information from the database and detail progress against targets and performance indicators. Procedures exist and are exercised to sustain tight control and regular audit to ensure that the database is accurately maintained. Monthly Data Quality Reviews are carried out to ensure the system is maintained and checked for accuracy.

 

7          Policies and Procedures

All policies and procedures are reviewed periodically to ensure they are up to date and reflect current practices as well as relevant guidance produced by the Food Standards Agency, Public Health England, Better Regulation Delivery Office and any other relevant bodies.

 

8. Review of Service Plan 2015/16

 

Each of the partner authorities submit annual statutory monitoring returns to the Food Standards Agency detailing inspections carried out according to those due for inspection.

 

The following review mechanisms are in place:

·                Monthly monitoring of the Service Plan by the Senior Management Team

·                Quarterly Performance Reporting

·                Monthly Cabinet Member meetings

·                Monthly data quality meetings

·                Annual service planning activity

 

8.1 Variations from Service Plan

  • This is the first service plan of the new partnership. A common database [Idox Uniform] was introduced in June 2014 for the use of teams across the three partner authorities.

 

  • Risk ratings of premises will vary during the year as new premises open and others close. This explains the variation of inspection numbers against those planned according to risk

 

 

8.2 Areas of Improvement

Opportunities for service improvement are discussed as part of our annual service planning activity and built into service plans for the year ahead

 

  • On 12-14 March 2012 Swale were subject to an audit by The Food Standards Agency. This confirmed generally a good service, complying with statutory requirements. The audit report can be found on the enforcement portal of the Food Standards Agency website www.food.gov.uk/enforcement

 

  • Maidstone Council’s Food service was subject to an Food Standard Agency audit March 2010 and an internal audit in 2013.

 

  • Tunbridge Wells were audited for the control of E.coli by the Food Standards Agency – February 2012

 


 

 

APPENDIX 1:  REVISIT CRITERIA

 

 

Category

REVISIT/SELF CERTIFICATION

HIN Served 

·         All premises must be revisited within a reasonable time period following expiry; one week is the maximum permitted and this is for HACCP and Training. Hot water and Pest control must be visited within two days maximum.

 

0,1 & 2 Star Premises

·         All premises must be revisited unless agreed otherwise by a Team Leader following the inspection. This may require two revisits, one initially to check on structural matters such as cleaning,  pest control and hot water etc and one later for Documentation and practices.

 

3-5

·         No premises to be revisited unless agreed otherwise with Team Leader