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Food Provision at the Annisburgh District Music Festival Essay

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Updated: May 9th, 2022

Introduction

Outdoor events are becoming prevalent in British society and Annisburgh District is proud to be hosting the music festival. This event will bring about a number of benefits for the community and participants. It will develop community cohesion as people come together to participate in the music festival. It will promote the careers of the local and international artists who will be performing at the event and raise the profile of the district leading to a positive reputation. Over the course of the music festival, the food and drink requirements of the participants will have to be met. To achieve this, a number of food businesses will be serving the population. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (2010) contends that even at the best of conditions, outdoor food provision is a high-risk activity. With this in mind, this paper will set out to assess and control risks to public health posed by food provision at an outdoor music festival.

Assessment of Public Health Risk

Background

An assessment of the music festival is necessary to determine the key food safety risks that the event may pose. The Local authority will ensure that risk assessment and policy formulation are undertaken. Walters and Rashid (2008) confirm that the local authority must be involved in the event since food hygiene falls under local authority control. This entity is responsible for issuing the Food Hygiene Certificate and checking that each food business meets the legal requirements.

Risk Assessment

Suitability of Site

The previous use of the land poses great risks. The selected size is normally used for grazing stock and this reality raises public health considerations. As a field for grazing stock, the site will contain animal droppings, which can contaminate food areas. The participants will also have their hands contaminated through contact with grass. Drainage will also be an issue on the site since it is highly unlikely that the field will be connected to drains.

Nature of businesses

The diverse nature of food businesses will result in varying levels of food hygiene qualifications being held. Businesses with highly qualified staff will have impressive food hygiene qualifications while those that employ part-time or temporary staff will have little to no food hygiene qualifications. Mortlock et al. (2000) suggest that most retail businesses are likely to employ no qualified full-time food handlers while caterers are likely to employ those qualified to intermediate levels. This shortage of qualified personnel can be blamed on the high turnover rates in the industry. Research indicates that staff turnover rates in the food sector are high with 54% of catering assistants changing occupations after completing education (Hutter 2011). The food hygiene qualifications will therefore be varied across the food businesses, which will result in inconsistencies in food safety.

Food Handler Proficiency

The competence of the food handlers will present a key food safety risk at the event. In addition to legislation and inspections, it is desirable that all food handlers be properly trained. However, the Food Standards Agency (2006) confirms that there is no legal requirement for food businesses to employ individuals who have formal training. While there is a legal requirement for the managers of food businesses to train staff on food handling, the decision on the appropriate level of training is left at the discretion of the managers (Worsfold 2005). Mortlock, Adrian, and Griffith (2000) declare that provision of food hygiene training for all food handlers can help reduce the incidents of foodborne diseases at the event. The UK Department of Health (1995) dictates that all food businesses must provide food hygiene training to their staff. Furthermore, UK food businesses are required to adopt a risk-based approach to food safety which is founded upon the philosophy of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system (Mortlock et al. 2000). The HACCP system is an effective method of food safety management and it mitigates the public health risks posed during food provision.

Size of Event

The music festival qualifies as a large event since it will have a capacity of 12,000 people over the 3-day duration of the event. The potential impact of outbreaks of food poisoning in large events is very great (Yeoman et al. 2012). If effective monitoring is not engaged in, the risk that consumers are exposed to will be significant. Lack of consumer concerns about food hygiene or food safety presents a significant risk. Most consumers at the event will under the assumption that the food businesses are implementing as high hygiene standards as is possible in the circumstances. Research by Worsfold and Griffith (2004) indicates that most consumers assume that all traders are well trained in food safety and subject to inspection by relevant food safety authorities. Most participants will be unaware of the HACCP system of the food hygiene management. These consumers will consume the food products with the hope that the food businesses have been inspected.

High-Risk Foods

The food available for sale at the festival will include high-risk and low-risk foods. The high risk poses the most significant problem to public health. Worsfold and Griffith (2004) define high-risk foods as “ready-to-eat foods, which will under favorable conditions support the growth of pathogens and which will be consumed without further treatment intended to destroy pathogens” (p.112). The types or food products on sale at the event which fall under the high-risk category include ham, meat pies, meat pasties, ice cream, and smoked products. Part of the problem associated with high-risk foods is the incorrect assessment of risk associated with such products by the food handlers (Clayton et al. 2001). Most food operators describe low-risk products such as meat and eggs as high risk. The same operators fail to regard packed ready-to-eat products as high risk and are unaware of the risk faced when such products are stored at ambient temperatures (Clayton et al. 2001).

Waste Disposal

Food businesses in the music festival can be expected to generate a lot of rubbish. This waste generated presents significant risks due to a large number of participants at the event. There is a risk of waste being accumulated either in or at the back of food stalls. This is a hazard since if not well taken care of; waste can attract pests, therefore, compromising food safety.

Weather

The environmental conditions will also increase the health challenges at the event. To reduce the cost of preparation, businesses might construct temporary structures that are inapplicable in wet weather. However, British weather is known to be unpredictable and there might be a downpour during the event.

Food Safety Policy

The music festival poses a number of significant risks and challenges that need to be effectively dealt with in order to safeguard public health. Adhering to standards and best practices can help alleviate the risks that food provision at the outdoor event poses to public health. These standards and best practices can be articulated through a Food Safety policy, which will act as a guideline for all food businesses. The proposed policy hopes to maximize food safety during the event.

Site Location

  • All temporary structures should be placed in areas with adequate drainage and they should be placed on raised platforms.
  • Food outlets will be strategically located in order to minimize the risk of contamination. Stalls will be placed at reasonable distances from toilet units and/or garbage storage areas.
  • No animals will be allowed on the site.

Working Area

  • The food preparation area should be well constructed in line with The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006.
  • All temporary structures must be weatherproof.
  • The surfaces should be leveled and constructed of a material that is easily washable and non-absorbent.
  • Hot and cold water must be available for use by the food operators. Food preparation sinks must be separate from handwashing sinks.
  • Gas Safety
    • Food stalls that require gas sources for food heating purposes have to adhere to safety standards.
    • Gas safety should be ensured in compliance with the legal requirements stipulated by the HSE.
    • All gas appliances used at the event must be tested and kept safe during the entire duration of the event.
    • The local Fire Service should be contacted to offer advice on control measures and fire prevention.
  • Waste Disposal
    • Each food business will arrange for its own garbage disposal from the site event. This garbage disposal will be conducted in a way that does not contaminate other foodstuffs or compromise the security of the event.

Standards

  • All the food businesses operating in the event will be required to comply with the “Food Hygiene England Regulations 2006”. In addition to this, New European Union hygiene regulations require all food businesses to implement procedures based on the HACCP principles (Worsfold 2005). Regulation (EC) 852/2004 demands that all food business operators should implement a food safety management system that is based on HACCP
  • Enforcement officers will be present to ensure that businesses adopt a HACCP system of hygiene management and offer relevant advice on food hygiene.
    • Food businesses will be required to make use of a HACCP system to help reduce the risk of food poisoning. A fully documented HACCP system would be desirable. Such a system will enhance the hygiene management of the business and reduce public health risks.
    • The district authorities will decide on the acceptable level of food hygiene training and all food businesses must conform to this standard.

Food Businesses Requirements

  • All food businesses operating in the music festival must be registered with the appropriate local authority and the operator should be able to provide evidence of this to relevant event personnel.
  • Licensing officers will be present at the music festival to ensure that all food operators meet license conditions. The CIEH (2010) declares that licensing can act as a useful tool for managing public health in the context of outdoor food provision.
  • Unregistered food businesses will not be allowed in the event and appropriate legal action might be taken against such businesses.
  • Businesses will be required to display hygiene certificates. These certificates will serve the dual purpose of proving to the inspectors that the premises are compliant and reassuring the consumer of the implementation of high hygiene standards by the respective business.

Food Safety

  • The expiry dates of all products should be clearly displayed and all food operators should ensure that the food they are serving has not passed its best before date.
  • Preparation activity at the temporary food stands such as cooking, slicing, and assembly adds to the risks. Specifically, the risk of cross-contamination of high-risk foods with poisonous micro-organisms in the raw foods is very high.
  • Protection against cross-contamination
  • There should be a strict separation of ready-to-eat foods from raw foods and the two classes of foods should be stored in different locations. Each food business must have adequate space to enable the separation of work surfaces and equipment.
  • Food operators must engage in personal hygiene and wash hands thoroughly before and after handling raw meat.
    • Storage of chilled foods
      • High-risk perishable foods should be stored at temperatures below 80C (HMSO 1995).
      • The operator should engage in regular visual inspection to ensure that the foods have not been damaged
    • Water Supply Availability
      • The event must have adequate supplies of water for use in drinking and washing and preparation of food.
      • The event participants must be provided with handwashing facilities to decrease their likelihood of handling food with contaminated hands.

Compliance Assessment

  • The event will have health and safety inspectors who will carry out random inspections in the course of the event. Inspectors will have the right to enter any food-providing premises without notice and check if the operator is complying with food safety standards.
  • The inspector is empowered to collect samples as evidence in case of food safety violations and offer guidance on changes that can be made or take appropriate action in case of gross violations.

Conclusion

This paper set out to assess the key food safety risks at the music festival and provide a food safety policy that can address the key challenges identified. The detailed assessment of the proposed music festivals has underscored the fact that food provision during the event poses significant public health concerns. From the risk assessment, potential risks that may arise from food provision have been identified and suitable measures to remove the risks or reduce their impact are proposed through the food safety policy section. The paper has highlighted the importance of the HACCP system and a focus on personal hygiene by the food operators. Adhering to the outdoor events policy proposed will ensure that the community is able to benefit from the music festival while minimizing the challenges presented by food provision.

References

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) 2010, CIEH National Guidance for Outdoor and Mobile Catering, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Hatfields, London.

Clayton, DA Griffith, CJ Peters, AC & Price, P 2001, An evaluation of food handlers knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about food safety and its interpretation using social cognition models, A report for the Food Standards Agency, London.

Food Standards Agency 2006, Food Hygiene: A Guide for Businesses, Food Standards Agency February, London.

HMSO 1995, The Food Safety (Temperature Control) Regulations 1995 (as amended), Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London.

Hutter, B 2011, Managing Food Safety and Hygiene: Governance and Regulation as Risk Management, Edward Elgar Publishing, New Hampshire.

Mortlock, MP Adrian, PC & Griffith, CJ 2000, ‘A national survey of food hygiene training and qualification levels in the UK food industry’, International Journal of Environmental Health Research vol. 10, no.1, pp. 111-123.

Walters, P & Rashid, T 2008, Events Management: An Integrated and Practical Approach, Sage, London.

Worsfold, D & Griffith, C 2004, ‘An assessment of food hygiene and safety at farmers’ markets’, International Journal of Environmental Health Research, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 109-119.

Worsfold, D 2005, A survey of food safety training in small food manufacturers, International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 15(4): 281–288

Yeoman, I Robertson, M Ali-Knight, J Drummond, S & Una, M 2012, Festival and Events Management, Routledge, NY.

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IvyPanda. "Food Provision at the Annisburgh District Music Festival." May 9, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/food-provision-at-the-annisburgh-district-music-festival/.

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