Hygiene Sue - News Board

Food safety & Allergens: Education vs. Ignorance

According to recent figures, approximately 15 million people live with food allergies. Restaurants, pubs and cafes are filled with more educated guests who are also being fuelled by media led misinformation. Employees and food service professionals are sometimes just as guilty of being uneducated or misinformed. Even today, after so many high-profile cases, it is astounding how many food suppliers do not know the importance of allergen training and food safety awareness.

Food Allergies & Intolerances Explained

Let’s clear up some differences between allergies, intolerance's, sensitivities and irritations as they relate to food. An allergy can be mild-to-severe, causing symptoms ranging from mild hives to breathing issues, and may result in death in severe cases. An intolerance or sensitivity can cause mild-to-severe discomfort, and medical attention is sometimes needed. In the case of an irritation, it is often an annoyance and may cause discomfort, but medical attention is rarely needed.

What are these sinister food items causing all the trouble? milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, soy, peanuts and tree nuts. Celery, cereals containing gluten – including wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan), rye, barley and oats, lupin (a legume from the same family as peanuts ) mollusks – such as mussels and oysters, mustard, sesame seeds, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)


Coronavirus – the do’s, the don’ts and the myths

Coronavirus or Covid – 19 to use its new name, is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways.

In the UK ( as of February 24th) there have been a total of thirteen ( 13) confirmed cases. If more cases are confirmed in the UK, it will be announced as soon as possible by the Chief Medical Officer of the affected country.

As of 23 February, a total of 6,324 people have been tested in the UK, of which 6,315 were confirmed negative and 9 positives. These figures do not yet include the confirmed cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

How is coronavirus spread?

Because it's a new illness, it is not known exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person Similar viruses spread in cough droplets. It’s highly unlikely coronavirus can be spread through packages from affected countries or through food.

What's the risk of catching coronavirus in the UK?

The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low. Health professionals are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have coronavirus.

My Month in the United Kingdom

Here I am in England where my company has sent me to give me the chance to improve my English for one month. From the first day, I met very helpful people who are willing to help you and who are very kind to me as a tourist. I already like the country and I feel good there.

First day of work and already I am facing one of the biggest problem’s 

"transport". The bus schedules showed me that the buses were not regular, I simply waited for a bus that never stopped. How can I explain the big change it has made to me, me who just came from Geneva where there are buses and trams every 5 to 10 minutes?

Once I get to Hygiene Sue, I meet my colleagues and Mrs. Sue. Once again, I find them very kind and welcoming. I discover their ways of working, they are multi-tasking, and very involved in their work.  Of course, not being English-speaking, I had a little apprehension, but they quickly knew how to put me at ease and fill me with confidence, always telling me politely ‘if you do not understand, tell me and I explain again.’ During this month, I did not see any

Degree apprenticeships dominated by students from more affluent areas,

More needs to be done to ensure disadvantaged and underrepresented young people have access to degree apprenticeships, which combine paid work with study, the Office for Students (OfS) stated in March 2019.  

Only 13 per cent of place filled at degree-level apprenticeships were the most disadvantaged students. Degree level apprenticeships were originally launched to help widen access to higher education and fill skill gaps.

The dangers in our food and soil. 

Food isn’t sterile; it comes from animals or grows in soil. If we are healthy adults, our immune systems can deal with small numbers of bacteria and viruses but at higher levels they can make us quite sick. So just what are the dangers and what can we get

Food poisoning is more frequently caused by bacteria. Bacteria like to grow in the ‘temperature danger zone’ between 5°C and 60°C. Their numbers can double and redouble and in a few hours they can reach dangerous levels. Lets not fool ourselves, no matter how clean we are bacteria can be found on the human body,within the air you

 breathe, in water and even in soil. Harmful bacteria found within soil can cause potential harm to humans, plants and trees. Some forms of bacteria can produce poisonous toxins, which can be fatal if the spores of such bacteria are inhaled, ingested or transferred through a wound.  The Bacillus Species, for example. There are a few variety of Bacillus. Bacillus cereus is a bacteria commonly found

take a course - insurance for Insurers 

In September 2017 a food safety scandal involved employees at one of the largest suppliers of supermarket chicken in the country allegedly altering slaughter dates in order to extend the products’ shelf life.


The allegations led to the full shutdown of the company’s West Midlands facility. The facility closure reportedly cost 2 Sisters £500,000 per week. 

However, the costs did not stop there. Marks & Spencer, Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have, in all likelihood billed 2 Sisters for their own costs of informing customers and pulling products from shelves, and may also impose contractual penalties. If the supermarkets source chicken from alternate sources there is no guarantee that they’ll return to 2 Sisters for supply once the plant resumes production. One would also imagine that the Food Standards Agency (FSA), having audited the facility nine times with no negative findings, will be slightly irked at the highly 

To Blend or not to Blend - the different ways of learning

At Hygiene Sue we cover all types of learning, online, classroom or even blended – or using its far less popular name - multi model learning. Here we look into the advantages and disadvantages and what works best for you:

Classroom Based learning

In todays fast paced, digital age, there has been an influx of online coursework made available at secondary, 6th Form and university level. While these courses may offer a level of convenience, they can also be considered by some to be problematic, because they lack some of the distinctive advantages that classroom learning has to offer. Whether it is through classroom-based discussions or scientific experiments, physical classrooms are able to offer more methods of interaction than online classrooms can provide. With more ways to interact with new subject matter, students may have a deeper understanding of the curriculum with longer-lasting retention of the material. Plus, there is a social component to classroom learning that can be compromised with other teaching methods.

Death and Taxes

On November 13 1789 Benjamin Franklin wrote to French scientist  Jean-Baptiste Leroy  “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” 


Nothing could be more true, 2017’s research shows the cost of a basic funeral rising for the 15th year in a row with the national average reaching an all-time high of £4,271.

Jail Time

‘Never before has my article been more prophetic’ says Sue Richardson of Hygiene Sue.

This week Mohammed Abdul Kuddus, 40, owner and chef was jailed for 2 years  and Harun Rashid, 38, takeaway manager, jailed for 3 years at Manchester Crown Court following the death of 15-year-old Megan Lee. 

After eating takeaway food containing peanuts from the Royal Spice Indian in Hyndburn, Lancashire on Dec. 30, 2016, Megan began experiencing an allergic reaction. She was admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital but passed away on Jan. 1, 2017. A post-mortem examination showed she died from asthma due to a nut allergy.

Megan and a friend had ordered from the Royal Spice via the Just Eat website. A note was left in the comments section of the order about “prawn, nuts” but the food was found to contain large amounts of peanut protein.

Megan’s family said the investigation, trial, and media coverage had been a difficult process for them and evidence was challenging to hear.

Levys - No joke! 

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a variety of measures aimed at changes to apprenticeship provision His nostalgic opening gag was reminiscent of the Monty Python sketch where a king gestures towards the view from his castle window and tells his son and heir: “One day lad, all this will be yours!” And the young prince replies: “What? The curtains?” 

From April the government will make up to £450 million available to enable levy paying employers to transfer up to 25% of their funds to pay for apprenticeship training in their supply chains. Likewise, for the smaller firms their levy contributions will be halved from 10% to 5%, a provision of up to £240 million for smaller employers.  A consultation on the future of the apprenticeship levy will be launched to understand how providers are responding to the programme across the UK with a particular focus on strengthening the role of apprenticeships in the post 2020 skills and Brexit landscape. The Institute of Apprenticeships and National Apprenticeship Service will be granted an additional £5million to further identify training provision gaps and increase employer designed apprenticeships standards available to employers. New courses will start in 2020.


£100 million has been allocated for the National Retraining Scheme (NRS).  This will include a new careers guidance service including sourcing work opportunities and courses to further develop transferable skills. £20 million is being made available to fund skills pilots which will include a match fund for employers to provide on the job training to young people not currently in employment, education or training and to move them into sustainable career paths with employers.  There will also be a  £3million pilot to help employers in Greater Manchester and surrounding areas targeting digital skills gaps through short training courses will also be made available.


So Phillip, whilst we are waiting for all this to happen I have to ask What is different between a magician and a politician?

The magician returns your watch at the end of the performance.


To understand the Levy more please click here

For information on apprenticeships please go to https://www.hygienesue.co.uk/apprenticeships

Cross Contamination...

This week, according to most news outlets it seems that Natasha’s Law could be in place in under a year. Natasha Ednan-Laperouse suffered an allergic reaction and collapsed on board a flight to Nice after eating a sandwich she bought at Heathrow Airport containing sesame seeds, which she was allergic to. The teenager who died after eating a Pret A Manger sandwich could give her name to stricter food labelling laws

Natasha’s father, Nadim, said: “I think we are moving to a tipping point, a really crucial point... a fundamental point for things to actually change in society, for people to become conscious in their conversations and their thoughts about allergies. So things that have previously been in the dark, are now going to come out into the light.

“And that’s really really important, and only good will come from that.”

However, in spite of all this and Prets CEO Clive Schlee promising that  ‘ Pret is also committed to working with

Food allergy facts

With Pret A Manger UK being in the news and allergy stories being a regular occurrence in the media, Hygiene Sue thought it would be a good idea to take a look at just what the problem is and highlight the 14 high risk foods. 

In the UK, about ten people die every year from food-induced anaphylaxis and many of those who die or suffer 'near miss' reactions had no idea that they were at risk. Tv presenter Kate Silverton suffered a mild reaction more than a decade ago after eating a prawn dish while backpacking in Egypt. An hour later large, itchy hives appeared on her chest and backand after taking some antihistermine tablets dismissed it as a mild reaction to a

Yachts - to work, to live, to explore

Want to work on a luxury yacht, earn thousands in cash tips in addition to a pretty good salary and travel to some of the most sought-after locations in the world?


Its all possible, if you consider there are over eighteen miles of new yachts in production, and an industry that can be pretty much recession proof, working on superyachts could be easier than you think. Sue Richardson of Hygiene Sue explains

Can I work on a superyacht?

Superyachts are large, privately-owned luxury boats, usually based in the Mediterranean for summer, and the Caribbean for winter. Training and experience are pre-requisites for the management crew onboard a yacht; this includes the captain, first officer, engineer and chef.


The sublime to the ridiculous – unusual apprenticeships you never knew existed.

Fancy something a little different? “There is often a misconception about the range of apprenticeships, the roles available and careers they can lead to,” Sue Richardson, managing director of Hygiene Sue,  “While there are tons of good apprenticeships in traditional industries, it’s not all about high-vis vests, hardhats, and hospitality – there are possibilities including roles in film and TV, tech, engineering and more.”

Vineyard Apprenticeship – or - How to please your dad!

A stream of statistics has been pouring out of education department offices over the last year… more than 900,000 apprentices in 2015-16 – the largest number since records began … £2.5bn being invested in apprenticeships by 2020.

Yet more than 12 million adults in the UK lack the basic digital skills needed in today’s workplace and the UK is the only Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development country whose 16- to 24-year-olds are no better at literacy and numeracy than those aged 55-65.

So do you want to try something different? Apprenticeships are a way into unusual careers that you may not have heard of. Employers in niche parts of the economy are looking for people prepared to break the mold and step into their sometimes very different worlds. And you don’t have to be a school leaver. Career changers, too, can become apprentices and learn whole new skills.


Who says it has to be chefs and hospitality like the good old days…

Take the wine industry, for example. England has 502 vineyards and 133 wineries according to the Wine Standards Board and it’s a growing industry. If you have a taste for the finer things in life and want the chance to work outdoors, then training to run a vineyard might be the one for you.

“There are a lot of vineyards around Kent and East Sussex and they do need workers,” says Sue Richardson of Hygiene Sue in Tunbridge Wells . “And once you have qualified you should be able to find work with the potential to become a vineyard manager.” that's one way of making your dad happy! 

Want to learn more contact Sue on 01892 524957 or email theteam@hygienesue.co.uk

How could an adult apprenticeship help me?



Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers and young people; there is no upper age limit and if you’re over 16, living in England and not in full-time education then you’re eligible to become an apprentice. 

Sue Richardson, managing director of Hygiene Sue suggests these few questions to ask yourself:

How could an adult apprenticeship help me?

Are you moving into your first job?

Have you been promoted into a new role that requires you to take on new responsibilities and exercise new skills and abilities?

Are you thinking about changing career?

Perhaps you are moving from a manual role that is difficult to continue due to ill health, into a new job that requires totally different skills and abilities.

Wherever you are in your career, an apprenticeship could make a big difference.

An apprenticeship is an education

An apprenticeship is a journey – from being a novice in a role to becoming an expert.

Apprenticeships should be expansive, and focus on developing the whole person for a job, a career (and other careers), and for life.

Going beyond that, an apprenticeship will instill a sense of curiosity, lifelong learning, discovery and improvement in all apprentices.

Call  Sue on 01892 524957 or email theteam@hygienesue.co.uk  to learn more – Where Learning Comes To Life.

Making sure the right course for you is the right fit for life

With thousands of opportunities available, tracking down a great apprenticeship that offers both high-quality training and excellent working conditions can be a daunting experience. Half of the apprenticeships graded by Ofsted in 2016 were found to be good or outstanding. But the other half required improvement or were inadequate. So how do you make sure an apprenticeship scheme will give your career prospects a boost, provide a decent living for a year or two, and be a positive overall experience?

Too Old To be an Apprentice? That's What you Think.

Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers and young people; there is no upper age limit and if you're over 16, living in England and not in full time education the you're eligible to become an apprentice. The Adult Apprenticeship is aimed at people over 25. Like a regular apprentice - normally aged 16-24 -they will earn as they learn both onsite and, one day a week, at college, until becoming fully qualified, generally after abut 3 years 

Middle aged men and women looking to change their careers should apply for an apprenticeship. It is estimated that by 2020 a third of the workforce will be over 50 as people remain in good health and live longer. However, there are growing concerns that they are being left "on the scrapheap" because if age discrimination. More than 425,000 people aged over 50 are unemployed, and half of them have been out of work for at least a year - the highest rate in any age group. The figure is likely to increase as the retirement age rises. Many ministers believe that older workers have a wealth of skills that are key to strengthening the economy. The belief is that by applying for apprenticeships they can share in the economic recovery.

Sue Richardson, Managing director of Hygiene Sue in Tunbridge Wells specialises in the more mature apprenticeships. For more information click here 

 Hygiene Sue is 10!

We’ve reached double figures now so thank you to all the individuals who over this past decade have contributed to creating the wonderful world of Hygiene Sue. It’s not just us who have grown up; here’s a glance back at what else has changed since 2008:

Posted by Sue Richardson  10/05/2017




  • Existing employees aged between 16 and 80 years of age are entitled to receive an apprenticeship. (subject to government eligibility)


  • Government provide 90% of apprenticeship costs                                                                                                           (average apprenticeship costs £3000-£5000)


  • Upskill existing workforce as company grows


  • No need for employees to leave workplace                                                                                                                       (saving time and costs incurred by going to a college or attending specialist courses)


  • Training will be carried out ‘on premises’ by qualified assessors


Hygiene Sue specialises in Apprenticeships in Hospitality, Customer Service & Business Admin and works with a broad range of companies with expertise in many other areas of government funded apprenticeships. 



Contact the team at Hygiene Sue on: 01892 524957


Posted by Sue Richardson  10/01/2017
The Apprenticeship Levy - May 1st

The UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy comes into place on the 1st May. The funding will support people of all ages to gain high-quality skills and experience and help employers to offer more training opportunities and build a skilled workforce. Everyone will be affected by Apprenticeship Levy.

The Apprenticeship Levy is divided into two categories:

        will have 90% of the costs of training paid for by the Government

       The levy will be charged at 0.5% of your annual payroll. You will have a levy

       allowance of £15,000 per year to offset against  the levy you must pay.



Posted by Sue Richardson  25/09/2016

Transport for London(TfL) have introduced an Apprentice Oyster Card, this card can save the apprentice 30% off adult-rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.

To be eligible for an Apprentice Oyster card you must:

•    Be aged 18 or over and

•    Live in a London borough and

•    Be enrolled on an apprenticeship

•    Be in the first 12 months of your Apprenticeship

Posted by Sue Richardson  23/08/2016
The Apprenticeship Levy - August 2016


The government on the 12 August 2016 published proposals for a new funding model for apprenticeships and further details on the apprenticeship levy. The funding will support people of all ages to gain high-quality skills and experience and help employers to offer more training opportunities and build a skilled workforce.


Everyone one will be effected by the Apprenticeship Levy

Employers will be able to agree the price of an Apprenticeship with Hygiene Sue directly, based on the Governments price bands.  


The Apprenticeship Levy is divided into two categories

  1. Employers with a pay bill under £3 million

  2. Employers with a pay bill of over £3 million

Posted by Sue Richardson  15/08/2016
The Apprenticeship Levy 
The Apprenticeship Levy is a government initiative that was originally announced in the 2015 Summer Budget. The government proposes to apply the Levy to large employers across all industries, throughout the country. The Apprenticeship Levy is being introduced as part of the government’s plan to help fund 3 million new Apprenticeships by 2020.
As a major commitment to increasing both the quality and the quantity of Apprenticeships in England, the government is putting the control in the hands of Employers around the country. Over the next few months Hygiene Sue will send out newsletters and arrange meetings with employers to explain in more detail how the Apprenticeship Levy might effect your business.

Posted by Sue Richardson  28/05/2016
Food Safety Certification – Yachting Industry   

CIEH - Level 2 Food Safety

The MLC (Marine Labor Convention) confirmed legislation mandating the certification of all chefs, food handlers and interior crew


Those with responsibility for catering should be properly trained or instructed for their positions and have an adequate knowledge of food and personal hygiene to ensure that food is stored, stock rotated, handled, cooked and served safely and that good practice is clearly applied.

So what is the Food Safety Certification and why is it so important?

• All food handlers must have a recognised qualification that is less than 3 years old.

• Relevant crew members must complete a one-day Level 2 Award in Food Safety course.

• Supervisors are recommended to attend the Level 3 Award Supervision in Food Safety.

Online Food Safety courses are not currently approved or recognised by the MCA.

• The candidate must pass a formal multiple-choice examination at the end of the course.

View courses CIEH Level 2 Food Safety courses 

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© 2016 Eglantine Catering Ltd T/A Hygiene Sue. Training provider delivering courses in food Safety, teacher training & Apprenticeships.  Registered office

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