"Good enough isn't" - Adrienne E. Treeby
So. I'm breaking with tradition here a little bit. Normally, I don't give a post such obvious direction. But since we're in the endgame here - I decided to be a little more direct. This will be the first in a series covering the baby-steps Crown & Queue is taking into the real world.
Health and Safety
For a good long while I allowed myself to be surprised that there just didn't seem to be as many regulations here in Europe as there are in the U.S. and Canada. Beginning my research into the legislative health and safety requirements necessary, I found repeated admonishments to 'do good', to 'take care' and 'have a HACCP plan'*. But nothing particularly SPECIFIC! Coming from a continent that has rules like 'x-item must be so many mm in length and so many mm away from the wall and so many mm from a water source', it was just so confusing to be trusted. I kept thinking that there must be something I was missing...
But this isn't the first time I've noticed that Europe has a more relaxed - some might term it 'understanding' - attitude towards food management. When I worked for the Cheese Shop - I noticed this same phenomenon. Cheeses, all out on a counter? Exposed to the open air? Exposed to, gasp!, the possibility of human touch?! That would never fly in the homeland. Yet, if these sorts of conditions were actually unsafe, then Europeans would be dropping like flies! And they're not...
So maybe the explanation for my lack of success at discovering any enforceable minutiae is not that I'm missing something but rather that Europe is getting something. Or always got it. That food doesn't necessarily need to be thoroughly wrapped in antiseptic packaging to be kept safe. That our systems can handle a little rocking. Perhaps they didn't have the microbiological vocabulary to describe what was happening a hundred years ago, but if you look at the traditional techniques we've been handed down, you realize that without knowing it those old-school cheese-and-salume-making were abiding by everything we can put it a name to now.
At any rate - I don't believe in doing anything by half-measures. You might take note of the quote above? So whether or not, I have to, I'm going to read everything I can and I'm going to re-up all my certifications.
That last one begins today... with a course at LivingroomCordial** - a CIEH (that's the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) approved teaching center. A Level 3 course in Food Safety Supervison for Manufacturing.
So far, although it's fun to go over all this stuff again and I like the teacher and other students, it's mostly been complete review. But hey.... sigh... no half measures. And I think it will definitely be worth it to include this certification in my qualifications. Because, spoiler alert, part 2 is about getting some more funding!
Visit to the new site at the end of the week!! Pictures, pictures, pictures.
*Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plan. It's basically a system to help food businesses avoid any issues before they even occur. You Analyze all the moments in the flow of food through your business where Hazards lurk. Then you specify at what or which level/temperature/condition Controlling becomes Critical. In other words, past this line YOU DO NOT CROSS. haha.
**Yeah, that's totally a pseudonym. Deal with it.