Food manufacturers are often failing food hygiene inspections because they don’t know where to turn for practical solutions, Banbury, Oxfordshire-based safety specialist Seton warned today [Thursday].

In research the company carried out with a sample from its 70,000 customers, 71% of respondents in the food manufacturing market said that they didn’t know where to source all the products and services that they needed to ensure food safety compliance. Simple things, as mundane as safety signage, can be headache purchases for buyers, the survey revealed.

Recent figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reveal that in the year 2000, 64% of all food premises were inspected and 45% country-wide committed some infringement of food safety law. And, with the FSA’s recent consumer attitudes survey showing that three-quarters of the UK population are fairly or very concerned about food safety, the pressure is on the manufacturing community to meet standards.

Seton claims, however, the lack of information and services is hindering businesses in their hygiene objectives and is preparing to launch a comprehensive range of food safety and hygiene products.

Seton MD, Simon Keeping, commented: “Whilst nearly all of our respondents were well aware of the need for compliance – and the risk that failure can bring to the public and their businesses – surprisingly few knew where to turn for an easy, practical way to identify and source what they needed to buy to put the essential elements in place.”

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Flexibility of supply was also a problem, the research highlighted, food manufacturers were not aware of a supplier that could service a production company of any size.