Early Years Catering update – Nursery Milk Scheme

What is the Nursery Milk Scheme?

Early Years settings can claim reimbursement for milk, under the Government’s Nursery Milk Scheme. This applies in England, Wales and Scotland, although the scheme is known as Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme in Scotland, and extends to snacks.

What EY settings can apply for this scheme?

With a few exceptions, the settings that can apply for this scheme include:

  • Registered childminders
  • Registered day care providers
  • Local authorities providing day care
  • Those providing day care to children under 5 years in schools
  • Those providing day care in a nursery or crèche for children (under 5 years)

Which children are eligible for free milk, and how much?

Children under 5 years who attend the setting for two or more hours are entitled to 1/3 of a pint of milk each day they attend the setting.

Where can I find more information?

Have a look at the Scheme website for further information: https://www.nurserymilk.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions

I want to know more about catering in an early years setting….

Have a look at our free guide – it covers menu planning, food safety, hygiene and allergens, and provides links to some great free resources for early years cooks.

Click here to access our free resource for Early Years caterers

Level 3 Food Allergy training for Supervisors released by The Safer Food Group

Food safety training experts The Safer Food Group have released a brand-new Level 3 course, aimed at supervisors and managers responsible for implementing allergy safe procedures.

The online, video-based endorsed award is the first of its kind to be created for the UK food industry. The course aims to equip food operators with the vital skills required to risk assess their operations, implement safe processes and manage teams. The video and written content addresses two essential elements of food allergen management, namely prevention of cross contamination and delivery of good communications.

Academic Director, Jonathan Green, stated, ‘We are very excited to be bringing this course to our learners. Whilst consumer focus on good allergen management has increased, food operators have not necessarily been able to access adequate tools to help them put good practice and process in place. 

We undertook an audit of available Food Allergy courses, and realised it was not always clear who existing allergy courses were aimed at, and what their objectives were. We created two distinct courses – a Level 2 course that specifically meets the needs of food handlers, cooks, and front of house teams, and a second, Level 3 course that helps the supervisor, manager or chef through the allergen risk assessment process and enables them to put effective solutions in place.’

Who is this Level 3 Allergy Management course suitable for?

This course is suitable for those responsible for  ensuring safe use of allergenic ingredients in their workplace, including managers, supervisors and chefs. It is suitable for food operations in catering, hospitality, manufacturing, education, health and care settings.

How much does the Level 3 Allergy Management course cost?

The course costs £48 + vat for a single learner, but multi-purchase options are available, which allow course purchase for larger cohorts at £24 + vat per learner.

How long will the course take?

Depending on experience, studying the course itself will take approximately 4 hours. In addition, learners will use resources supplied to complete their own risk assessment and allergy policy. The course concludes with an online exam.

Are there any entry requirements to taking the Level 3 course?

We recommend that learners have previously been trained in allergy awareness to Level 2. The Safer Food Group Level 2 Allergy Awareness course has been developed alongside this course, and learners who have already taken the Level 2 course will be familiar with the format, chapters and terms used. Recap material from the Level 2 course is available to Level 3 learners.

When will Level 3 Allergy Management be available?

The new course is available from 4th March 2022

Is this course accredited?

The course is an endorsed award, accredited by Qualifi, an Ofqual registered awarding body: ref: AFAM3SFG2022, and attracts 6 CPD learning points.

Where can I access the course?

https://www.thesaferfoodgroup.com/allergy-awareness-level-3.php

Where can I get more information?

Email info@thesaferfoodgroup.com for further course information or to discuss partner pricing arrangements.

Access this press release as a PDF

The Safer Food Group’s Guide to Early Years Catering

Why is food hygiene and safety important for Early Years practitioners?

It is important to serve safe, hygienic food to everyone – but in early years settings, it is especially important to ensure little bodies are protected and nourished, and immune and digestive systems can develop safely. Having an awareness of food borne illness and how to prevent it is important for anyone who works in early years.

Do I need a food hygiene qualification for childcare?

According to Section 3.48, Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, March 2021: “Providers must be confident that those responsible for preparing and handling food are competent to do so. In group provision, all staff involved in preparing and handling food must receive training in food hygiene.”

So the simple answer is – if you prepare or handle food, you MUST have received food hygiene training.

What level of food hygiene training do I need for childcare?

This depends on your role – if preparing and serving food is a small part of your role, and someone else is instructing or supervising you, a Level 2 Food Hygiene award should be adequate. If you are running the kitchen, putting processes and plans in place, and supervising others, you might want to look at a Level 3 Food Hygiene award, that gives you some insight into management level skills and a greater background knowledge of food safety.

Where can I get food hygiene training for early years?

If you already work in early years, your employer may have a preferred training provider for food hygiene. If you’re looking for a course yourself, you can choose to study a face to face or an online course. Think about what is important to you before you decide – cost, convenience, being able to recap material and study at your pace, or being able to ask questions?

Look for a course that is designed for early years practitioners, especially at Level 2. Courses such as those offered by The Safer Food Group cover specific situations and details that will be relevant in your role.

Also, consider whether you’ll need any additional training – do you need to learn about Allergen Management, or Nutrition for your setting, for instance? If so, look for a training provider who can cover all of these subjects – you’ll have all your training details held in one place, and you’ll build up a comfortable familiarity with the way the courses work.

I want to know more about catering in an early years setting….

Have a look at our free guide – it covers menu planning, food safety, hygiene and allergens, and provides links to some great free resources for early years cooks.

Click here to access our free resource for Early Years caterers

Support organisations for catering and hospitality workers

We know that life in hospitality and catering can be tough. Long hours, unsociable shifts, tricky customers… just some of the reasons your job can leave you feeling blue. When it becomes hard to leave the work stress at work, it’s time to talk to someone.

We’ve created a list of organisations that can help. Feel free to add comments if you work with or have sought help from an organisation you’d like to add to this list

The Drinks Trust is the community for the drinks industry, offering support and services to help its community thrive.

Hospitality Action work to provide hospitality workers with financial, physical and psychological support to help them overcome adversity and get back to work as quickly as possible.

The Care Workers Charity aims to advance the financial, professional and mental wellbeing of social care workers by making grants, signposting to resources and providing access to services.

The Burnt Chef Project is a non-profit social enterprise fully committed to making the hospitality profession healthier and more sustainable.

Hospitality Health is a Scottish organisation that helps those who are in need of support, by providing wellbeing advice and signposting organisations that can help. We hope we can make a difference, even to a few individuals.

Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

Important Links

RSPH – Mental Health in Hospitality

NHS – Every Mind Matters

The Safer Food Group

Use-by dates and Best Before dates

What is the difference between a Use-by date and a Best Before date?

Jars of crystallised honey Copyright www.thesaferfoodgroup.com 2021

In simple terms, a use by date tells you whether a food should be safe to eat, while a best before date tells you about a food’s quality.

Use by dates appear on foods that are most likely to perish quickly, and cause a threat to health after a relatively short period. This includes meat, fish, dairy products and prepared salads and meals. Harmful bacteria can exist on these foods and multiply over time, so it is vital to follow food safety rules when using these foods.

Waste prevention tip – foods can be frozen up to and on their use by dates, as long as they’ve been stored safely up to that point. You’ll need to cook and eat it within 24 hours when you defrost it.

Best before dates tell you about the quality of a food – after this date, the food may not be harmful to eat, but the flavour or texture might be affected. Best before dates are often used on frozen, tinned and packet foods.

Waste prevention tip – Have a regular check of your food cupboard and make sure you keep foods with shortest best before dates at the front so you don’t forget about them.

Use-by and Best Before video Copyright www.thesaferfoodgroup 2021

To review this and other important food safety important, visit The Safer Food Group and check out our Level 2 Food Hygiene course – vital for all food handlers