Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Snack Preparation - New Legislation!


 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi

 

After reading the Under 5's publication this week, we were very interested to read the article on snack preparation and being registered with the FSA. We have all been on the Basic Food Hygiene courses and were not aware that we needed to be registered to provide sandwiches, fresh fruit etc.

 

We run from a community hall and share the premises with all those who pay for the privilege. In the kitchen we have access to locked cupboards where we keep our toaster, cups, plates etc and our non-perishable food stuffs. We also have shared access to a fridge/freezer, a cooker, sink and a microwave.

 

Upon telephoning the FSA they referred me to our local Environmental Health Officer who confirmed that due to new legislation we now need to be registered with them directly and inspected (although our landlord is already registered with them separately). Forms are in the post for us to complete.

 

As I questioned the EHO it became apparant that we will really struggle to adhere to the rules which they will enforce e.g. making sure that the fridge is used solely by us (this will need to be locked and inaccessible to others!!!), that we guarantee that it will never be turned off & that it will always be at 5 degrees and that this will be checked and recorded each day. We could of course provide our own fridge and lock, but the kitchen does not have the room for 'another' fridge and if we get one small enough I am sure it will disappear in the back of someones car. As it is, our locked food cupboards are often 'raided' by others.

 

We obviously do store all our food correctly in containers, but cannot guarantee what others will put in the fridge.

 

We obviously understand and agree with the new legislation, but wonder how others who operate from community buildings are coping with this.

 

We feel that our only option is to stop providing healthy, nutritious snacks and ask the parents to bring in lunch boxes a la school instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We operate from a community building with a communal fridge I must admit I need to look into the regulations as I didnt know about the fridge needing to be for the sole use of the group....

 

have you discussed your concerns with the health officer? Im sure there are many groups (ours included) that could not provide additional fridges

 

we bring our food in fresh each day and only use the fidge to keep items cold during session, will the regulations apply to us?

 

In one place I worked there was a communal fridge and each group had a tuppaware box with the groups name on, all items had to be keep inside the groups designated box to prevent contaminating others foods but nothing was locked it was a good will arrangement

 

hope you find a solution, I would be interested to hear how you get on

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well I might as well shut down now as there is no way we could keep to all the rules. our cupboards are not locked, the fridge is shared and they even moan if we keep a bottle of milk in it over night. fruit we keep in a cupboard, in the kitchen but its not locked. just another thing to try and over come !!!!! :oxD:(:(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having had this topic come up recently on here I questioned and Ofsted inspector who told me I was not required to regiister - now I'm confused - in shared premises and I'm sure we won't be allowed to have our own fridge. I have a pack for the FSA would I need to ring them to get the forms?

 

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After reading the article in the recent Under 5's publication I rang our local food safety office. They referred me to the FSA. The FSA said that the article was misleading and that they had received many calls because of it and that you needed to contact your local Environmental Health Officer at the council (they gave me the phone number). He said that if you provide snacks, you need to be registered.

 

Obviously we sanitize the areas of the kitchen we use before use, but we could not guarantee how clean the rest of the kitchen is and to be honest it is not up to my standard, let alone an inspection from an Environmental Health Officer. I dread to think what is behind the appliances!

 

Our local EHO said that we needed to guarantee that we were the only ones using the fridge (we can't) and that the temperature needed to be taken every day and recorded and that there was no way the fridge could be turned off accidently whilst we were not there. He asked if we could bring in food everyday, which we could, but the parents pay for their childrens snack & this would mean that anything left over (I dont mean left over, but unused) from one session would have to be thrown away as it could not be stored in the fridge. The same goes for any milk which we have. Costs would have to rise.

 

After much thought and not wanting to take responsibility for cleaning up after every Tom, Dick and Harry has hired the hall and the increased stress from ensuring that the kitchen be up to inspection from the Environmental Health, we have decided to ask the parents to bring in lunch boxes for the children.

 

We are conferring with them at the moment on our new policy and what they want to see in the policy. The new proceedure starts from the end of March.

 

This was the last thing that we wanted to do as we are striving to introduce the children to healthy snacks, but feel that we have no alternative.

 

We could of course employ an extra person to clean the whole kitchen everyday and to buy food everyday, but costs would have to go up and the parents would not be happy. So here's hoping that they dont mind providing lunch boxes!!!

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also in shared premises and I have registered and invited the EHO to visit because I feel that my landlords who charge me quite a high rent should be made aware of what facilities I should have as a very valued ( in monetary terms) tenant. Yes it is my responsibility to maintain cleanliness and hygienic standards when preparing food, but it is also, I think, my landlords responsibility to provide the basic environment to be able to do this in. If the roof was leaking I would have them sort it, so, if the kitchen is inadequate then they should sort this too ( including responsibility to ensure other users leave it as they find it.)

 

Sorry, but I am getting a bit fed up of continually trying to develop good practice against such problems as others have described. I am the landlords highest income provider, and without my rent they would struggle. I also don't think they would find it easy to get anyone else in should I leave- unless they meet legislation standards.

 

Well, it's worth a try....just have to see what the EHO comes up with.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Playgroup has never had a fridge and I doubt very much the church would provide one even if there was space in the kitchen, they didnt like being asked for a new bin! It does always seem that there are powers out there who's aim is to cause the most amount of trouble to the providers who are most limited in what they can do about it. xD It makes me think of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' :o:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you Peggy and will be interested to see what the EHO say. We too are in shared premeses and are the landlords biggest income provider. I am continually having to clean up the premises on a Monday morning after a party has been in their on a Saturday, I too am fed up with it. I finish at 12.15 and today I actually left at 2 because I stayed to make sure everytbhing was tidy for the cleaners who shuld have arrived at 1 but were no where to be seen when I left! I and a few of my other staff never leave on time always leave the hall tidy but other users dont.

Did you ring the EHO to register?

 

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We received our form today from the EHO. I will try to attach it later, or maybe someone who already has one, could try.

 

It is definitely geared towards businesses that provide food on a larger scale and not for the likes of us who prepare fresh fruit and veg and wholemeal bread :o

 

I am going to email them later to say that we will no longer be providing food, that the parents will now be providing snack boxes.

 

I must say that we have had a rather good response regarding the forthcoming change from the parents with many wanting to put forward their wishes with regard to what to provide in their child's snack boxes. The majority want other parents not to provide unhealthy food in the boxes and wish the policy to reflect this, with specific regard to no chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks and some not wanting crisps either. When we have tallied all the questionnaires I will let you know the outcome.

 

We have had more comments on the rolling aspect of snack time, than anything else. It seems that parents still want the routine of a set snack time, with tidying up beforehand. We have said that our Early Years Adviser has encouraged us to begin the rolling snack and that it increases indepence etc, but they are still not 100% happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have scanned the Registration Form from the Environmental Health.

 

I hope it works. Sorry, if it doesnt, it was my first.

post-4084-1142016985_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you Peggy and will be interested to see what the EHO say. We too are in shared premeses and are the landlords  biggest income provider. I am continually having to clean up the premises on a Monday morning after a party has been in their on a Saturday, I too am fed up with it. I finish at 12.15 and today I actually left at 2 because I stayed to make sure everytbhing was tidy for the cleaners who shuld have arrived at 1 but were no where to be seen when I left! I and a few of my other staff never leave on time always leave the hall tidy but other users dont.

Did you ring the EHO to register?

 

Sue

50375[/snapback]

 

 

Yes, I rang my local office so no doubt I will get a form like Sharon has scanned. Once I'm registered I will call them and ask for an Inspector to come out.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone

 

It was our first day with the children bringing in their own snacks today.

 

Out of 24 children, only three forgot and had to go and buy something from the nearby Tesco Extra :o

 

But overall it was successful. All the lunch boxes contained mostly healthy food.

 

Our only issue now is to get the parents to put in enough for a snack, not a full 3 course luncheon xD

 

All the children were told that they didnt need to eat everything (on regular occasions), but after an hour, we asked one girl to pack away what she had left so that she could finish it at home. I dont see the point of sending a child to pre-school for 3.5 hours and letting her sit there for an hour to eat her snack, because she has so much in her box :( I know that this did not follow our policy regarding child choice, but felt that we had to intervene. The mum was told and she just laughed.

 

Those of you who have the children bring in their own lunch, how do you manage with time resrictions?

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of our children eat their pack-up within 15-20 minutes, only one or two children take at most 30 mins. Children are able to leave the table after 20 mins, those who finish early are encouraged to wait "until the clock hand points to number 4" ( 20 past). This works quite well most of the time. The ones that take longer are not rushed, as they tend to natuarally eat at their own pace. The way we deal with too much food is, like you, to have a quiet word with the parent.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Peggy

 

We did notice a little boy who was upset when going home. His mum had told him that he was not going to the shop as he hadn't ate all his lunch!!!

 

How do we encourage the children to make healthy choices when the parent/carers are asking the children to eat everything in their boxes?

 

We have told the parents that their snack boxes do not represent lunch and that we expect that the children will still have lunch when they go home at 12.45pm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must admit I am a bit confused that you expect they will have lunch when they get home, what time do you have snack boxes??????

 

We recently did two posters every day on a board right opposite our entrance door. One poster had a smiley face and one poster a non smiley face ( not a sad face but a straight line for the mouth, trying not to be too dictatorial)

 

We placed all the wrappings from all the lunch boxes on the relevant sheet, if they had anything without a wrapping we wrote on each sheet. ie: pear, chocolate spread sandwich, etc. Each day we asked the children which poster each package should go on ( blue tack). The end result was a very visual image of what the children had eaten and how much. ( ie Monday there were 8 yoghurts. I took a photo each day and will be using these photo's for a future newsletter, as a discussion point. I also put info on the sheets next to some of the items such as which ones had E numbers, which were good for less salt, calcium etc. Writing this down makes it sound time consuming but it really grabbed the childrens and more importantly the parents attention, by the end of the week we saw much more fruit and less chocolate biscuits without having to say anything to the parents. :o

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Peggy

 

Our session starts at 9.15am and snack starts from 10.15am and runs until 11.45am. We have 26 children per session and one table of 6 spaces is allocated to rolling snack during this time.

 

Some children come in saying they are hungry and they are usually first. We constantly have 6 children at the table during the 1.5 hour time slot.

 

The children go home at 12.45 noon and the pre-school has always specified that we only provided a snack (the parents paid 20pence per day for this) and that lunch should be provided when the children get home. This stems from the old days of the children being given a biscuit and milk for snack. Advice changed and we provided healthy snacks such as wholemeal bread and fruit. We never forced the children to eat snacks and never reported to the parents what individual children had eaten during snack time. Therefore it has always been given that the children still needed lunch when they got home, be it a substantial lunch or a quick snack depending on individual children's needs.

 

We all used to sit down together at about 11.15am for approximately 20 minutes. But with advice from our EYA we changed to a rolling snack and with 26 children we have found that we need a 1.5 hour time slot during the morning to complete this process.

 

Since changing the procedure we have been very careful to ask for snack boxes and not lunch boxes and for the past 25 years pre-school has had a 'snack' time and parent/carers have paid 'snack money'. We have never provided lunch as we have never had the facilities.

 

A bit rambling sorry.

 

It was our third day today and it was much better, with less being put into the children's snack boxes.

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aah, now I understand, my examples were about my lunch times.

 

I provide snack foods, we have a cafe style system providing healthy snacks from 9:15- 11am ( drinks all session), I do not charge for this and ask for donations which we sometimes get but not always.

Glad to hear your snack time is improving, have you considered starting your rolling snack time earlier for children who don't have breakfast, for whatever reason?

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Peggy.

 

There is no reason why we can't start it earlier as the table is allocated all session for snack.

 

I must say, after the problems with having to share a kitchen, we never considered asking for donations for snack time.

 

Do parents only provide unopened purchased foods or do they make food such as flapjacks etc? I was just wondering how this would work with the EHO as you could not prove the hygiene of the kitchen the goods came from? If you see what I mean?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We only take fresh fruit and vegetables or packaged "healthy" foods such as rice cakes, naan bread, bread sticks, raisins, etc. No home cooking for the reasons you state. One parent gave us some out of date chocolate biscuits ( only one day) which the staff thoroughly enjoyed out of the childrens sight. :oxD

( I let the parent know the children wouldn't get any :( )

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)