Fast-food firms demand hygiene law

Deaths of two teenagers prompt companies to ask government to speed up decree on employee training

22 March 2011

TWO deaths have led fast-food companies to call for the government to speed up the introduction of new laws on food hygiene. They were passed last year, but have never been entered on the statute books.

The companies say a scientific study they launched on the safe life of sandwiches is also awaiting approval from government bodies.

The fast-food federation Syndicat de la Restauration Rapide has been looking into the sell-by dates of sandwiches since 2009, but the deaths of two young people after eating in a burger bar and a kebab shop have prompted it to accelerate the process.

It said new rules making it obligatory for employees to undergo hygiene training were passed in the middle of 2010, but have not been published and so are not yet in force.

Elise Wack, who heads the federation’s safety committee, said it would welcome the publication of the decree so it can become law.

She added that the vast majority of its 3,000 member companies and 90,000 employees were already abiding by the new hygiene rules.

The federation’s report into the sell-by date of sandwiches is in the hands of the food watchdog Anses and the ministry of agriculture.

It looks at the processes behind hand-made sandwiches which are made in a sandwich bar, fast-food counter or snack bar. Factory-produced sandwiches – which have an eat-by date – are not covered.

The life of a sandwich is determined by what it contains (bread and garnish), the temperature it is stored at and the time since it was made.

The moves come after the death of a 16-year-old girl in Chartres from food poisoning after eating at a kebab shop and the death of a 14-year-old boy after eating at a Quick burger bar in Avignon.

See also:
Boy's death hits burger bar sales
Quick restaurants set up helpline

Photo: Studiotouch - Fotolia.com

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