Free graphic – The HACCP continuum

Back in 2006 when the ‘new’ requirement for HACCP based food safety management was brought in, I was commissioned to deliver all of the introductory training for enforcement officers (for the FSA and CIEH). It was a testing time and a challenging training project!

One of the highlights was the development of a little idea that I named the HACCP continuum, which showed that the more complex or higher risk food businesses needed ‘full’ HACCP  but that less complex or lower risk businesses could use soothing else. The diagram below explains it – and I was recently asked, 13 years later, for it to be recreated so here it is:

HACCP continuum



Funny songs for teaching food safety

Some of my readers may know about “my little temperature probe” my comedy song about temperature control. I try to sing it on most of my food safety courses if I take my guitar along. It’s a bit daft, I can’t sing too well, matched by my guitar skills – but it’s my homage to George Formby!

This week when playing it I was impressed by one delegate who got it and laughed away at the little innuendos, but then also made technical notes in the middle of the song about time and temperature controls! I have often seen the song as just a throw away to remove tension before the exam. But this reminded me of the different ways in which people learn. Well done that student who passed the Foundation course with flying colours (as did they all)

This was one of my special community courses with low fees to improve accessibility. Despite colleagues saying that cheap or free training isn’t valued, these students certainly did appreciate it!

Summerhouse training starts now!

It’s a simple idea, and I have done it before, but running training courses in my home brings several benefits – cost saving, travel savings, cancellation has less impact, and I can have a good home cooked breakfast before we start! A few years ago I ran some PTC (remember those?) courses at my home in the summer. They were very relaxed courses, and several ‘students’ are still in contact today. The atmosphere is subtly different, and we had a great time.

Since then we have installed a modest summer house at home, and it seems a shame not to make use of it while still working, so next week the first course is a one to one Intermediate Food Safety course for a local chef, as part of my free training offer. We will have flipchart, and PowerPoint with personal screens, and the group exercises should be fun!!! I can’t wait!

Giant mindmap back after 27 years!

A long, long time ago I can still remember…. a giant mindmap I created for an Advanced Food Hygiene Course in Manchester – for city council catering staff. This was before Tony Buzan had started the serious marketing of his version of mindmapping© and we probably called it something else then. Sadly, in those days we didn’t carry a camera everywhere and so I never captured it or kept the multiple taped sheets in my archive more than a couple of years.

This week I had occasion to bring it all back on the last day of an Intermediate Health and Safety Course, building up from a classic ‘spider’ diagram of hazards for any piece of equipment. Once we added some simple bullet points for controls, the map grew and started to cover more of the course. Fortunately this time I photographed it so here it is – PowerPoint© might have its uses, but flipchart paper still rules the day for some things!

It even includes a quick reference of a risk assessment (profiling) rating system (bottom- right) which is alphanumerical and is the ideal intuitive system to teach effectively and quickly. Note that much of this mindmap is in varied and multicoloured writing –  all participants contributed directly to the build.

(This CIEH course was taught on behalf of Moonlight Environmental Ltd. – with kind permission to reproduce, and all participants passed the exam!! Well done to all)

H&S mindmap

My week!

So this week I finished the delivery of an intermediate food safety course, started an intermediate health and safety course, advised a lovely pub on how we can get it’s 5 hygiene rating, delivered one of my free allergens workshops in an ice cream parlour, attended a local business owners meeting and then responded to a request for advice on a small volunteer event serving tea biscuit and home made cakes, and then worked on allergens risk assessment formats, as well as a brief visit to a busy locality to consider potential terrorism emergency evacuation plans. Topped off with a delightful day with our granddaughter, and ending tonight with being taken to see Rocketman with my beautiful daughter, and tea at Nando’s – a slightly delayed Father’s Day treat. I’m a lucky lad! Hope you week was as exciting and exhilarating as that?

Another favourite course delivery – Intermediate Food Safety – love it!

Over many years I have delivered this three day programme for supervisors, and it has developed and become fine tuned to a point where I am always excited and yet relaxed as I travel to the venue for day 1.

To be able to get to know these learners over a week or so is a real privilege, as I feel I can really help people to achieve the level their organisation has selected as most appropriate. And of course it’s the CIEH programme I use! Although I do use or refer to the vast PowerPoint slide set, I still find room to deliver my favourite activities, which test and challenge thinking in depth. So as I sit on my slow bus into town, I am finally contemplating my opening words. Being topical, current and local means I must refer to the awful listeria outbreak which appears to have emanated from a company just down the road in Salford, and has resulted in several fatalities. Sad though it is, its a way to start a course that I won’t shy from. Training has to have impact.

Free training offer off to a flying start!

So the first free training session was a great success this week – strange how not charging for something can take the pressure off needing to demonstrate value for money – and it being free didn’t seem to devalue it, as my first business wants to pursue more training. And the training, although free, resulted in the usual ratio of preparation to training time ( if you don’t know, in general about 4 hours preparation time for every one hour of training) Have I been too generous in offering all training and consultancy free until end of 2019? I now have two more businesses wanting me to help. And they have said please ring us as soon as you are available, instead of the usual “we’ll ring you”. It’s great to be able to put my expertise to use locally. This is a time limited offer! I have also been asked to help a couple of businesses with poor hygiene scores. Love to help!

In the meantime, two ‘commercial’ intermediate courses coming up in the next 6 weeks mean I am again occupied virtually full time (that’s just 6 days a week at the moment!) but always capacity to do more if someone needs me.

Free allergens workshops launched!

Yes, this week sees the very first workshop in my new project – giving free training services to my local food businesses community. First up is a local coffee shop very close to where I live. They have asked for an in-house workshop for three staff including the manager. They also have one person who needs their level 2 food safety qualification. It’s tough sometimes finding enough delegates to put on a viable course, but as this training is also free, it’s a simple decision to put on a one to one course. I will let you know how it goes this week. I am thinking of trying out a new exercise, three foods for someone with an allergy, which would you advise they can eat, which must they avoid, and which don’t we know?