The Food Standards Agency and the British Sandwich Association (BSA) are working on a set of industry guidelines for sandwich manufacturers and sandwich bars, due to be published next year.
“We have our own guidelines, but there are no formal government guidelines,” BSA director Jim Winship told Food Manufacture. “Listeria exists in some manufacturing environments. You can’t always completely eradicate it. We’ve agreed on advice on what to do if something goes wrong.”
The decision to develop guidelines followed a listeria incident at Kent-based Anchor Catering in March. The firm was forced to stop production after Ashford Borough Council found that a small number of samples tested positive for listeria during routine testing.
The company is now up-and-running, but Winship explained that reopening had been a complicated process because the local authority kept raising questions. “It was floundering around not knowing what to do,” he said.
The BSA expects the guidelines to help manufacturers and local authorities deal with future crises in an efficient manner.