Food hygiene and use of kitchen
This section applies in its entirety to those synagogues that have full working kitchens that are in use on both Shabbos and for simchos. For those synagogues with a small kitchen where no actual cooking takes place, only some of the recommendations will apply. It is necessary to ensure that any food prepared on shul premises on behalf of the Federation or by outside caterers complies with food safety regulations.
Whenever food or alcohol is being prepared or served, consider food hygiene requirements and any necessary license applications. (For more information, please see https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/providing-food-at-community-and-charity-events and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/alcohol-at-charity-meetings-and-events)
It is recommended that the use of the kitchen is controlled, to ensure that standards are maintained. All those using the kitchen should be made aware of the health & safety, hygiene and Kashrus requirements of the synagogue.
If outside caterers are using the kitchens, then it must be a requirement that the synagogue has seen the caterer’s relevant paperwork, including public and employers’ liability insurance, and they are satisfied that high standards of hygiene and food safety will be maintained.
Please be aware that if you are self-catering an event or Kiddush, that the same high standards of apply. All food must be prepared by people who have been trained in proper food safety and hygiene, food must be stored and cooked correctly and if there is a doubt as to whether the food meets the requirements, do not serve it. Where possible it is advisable to make sure that perishable items are bought as close to the date of the Kiddush or event to minimise the risk of things going off and being unsuitable for use.
Care should be taken when preparing food if the weather is particularly hot as this can affect the way that food is stored to ensure it is safe to consume.
Where wine or grape juice is poured out into serving cups, if these are not used, they must be thrown away and not poured back into the bottle.
Signs should be placed in the kitchen listing the requirements that are expected so that people are aware of them before any cooking commences and regular checks should take place to ensure that standards are maintained.
If food is to be heated on a hotplate, please ensure that hotplates are checked to ensure they are in good working order and are electrically safe. Food that is reheated must be checked to ensure it is heated through and safe for consumption. Hotplates can get very hot and could be a fire risk and therefore caution must be taken whenever they are used, and all safety precautions followed to prevent accidents and fire.
If hot water is heated in an urn care must be taken to ensure that the urn is placed on a stable surface and is not near the edge where it can be tipped over. Wires should not trail and under no circumstances should children be allowed to access the area where the urn is kept.
Wherever a property has a gas boiler or solid fuel burning stove installed, these need to be checked on a yearly basis by a gas safe registered engineer to ensure that they are compliant. This is a statutory requirement. A gas safety certificate will be issued and is valid for the year.
Please speak to the Properties Manager, Avi Cohen for a list of trusted contractors and to organise for the check to be carried out. If you prefer to appoint your own contactor, please ensure that a copy of the gas safety certificate is sent to Head Office.
Carbon monoxide alarms (in addition to fire or smoke alarms) should be installed in any room where there is a gas appliance present, for example a gas boiler or gas cooker.
It is a statutory requirement under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 to ensure that all electrical circuits and products are safe. Unsafe electrics are a fire risk and therefore it is important to ensure that the electrics are maintained.
As the building is open to the public under S1 1988 N0 635 of the Electricity at Work Regulations, the Federation’s policy is to ensure that a routine check of the electrics is carried out every five years. This check is known as an EICR – Electrical Installation Condition Report.
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. Portable appliance testing must be carried out by an electrically competent person. The aim of these checks is to determine whether the equipment is fully serviceable or whether remedial action is necessary to make sure it is safe to use. The Federation’s policy is to ensure these tests are carried out on an annual basis.
Water management / Legionella
The Federation is committed to its obligation to manage the water systems within its properties. The Health & Safety Department manage risk assessments, regular inspections, sampling and where necessary, treatment to comply with the HSE Approved Code of Practice L8 (Legionnaires disease – The control of legionella bacteria in water systems).
In cases where the risk assessment makes recommendations, it is the responsibility of the shul administrator, with the assistance of the Properties Manager, to ensure that necessary work is undertaken.
The following disciplines must be undertaken by local site management:
Weekly: Run all water taps and flush WC’s. This is particularly important in underused areas of the building. Diarise and log this action.
Monthly: Check hot and cold-water temperatures for all water outlets on site. Log the results.
Regularly: Clean and de-scale all taps, spray-taps and showerheads, to eradicate
bacteria which can live behind the limescale. Diarise and log this action.
Use of Display Screen Equipment
Display Screen Equipment (DSE) is a device or equipment that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of the display process involved; it includes both conventional display screens and those used in emerging technologies such as laptops, touchscreens and other similar devices. The attached link in this section contains a document providing guidance for those working with DSE.
If work carried out by employees is primarily in the use of DSE then the Federation, on request, will subsidise the cost of an eye test. The Federation reserves the right to select the optician and will request the cost of the test before authorising payment.
The Federation may also request the optometrist’s report following the test, regarding whether corrective glasses are required for DSE use only or whether to correct eyesight. If the glasses are required to correct eyesight only then no subsidy will be provided for the glasses.
The Federation will take the professional guidance of the optometrist as to the frequency of re-testing required.
Maintenance of Lifts
This section applies only to those synagogues that have a passenger lift on the premises. The synagogue bears responsibilities for its safety and must ensure routine maintenance and inspection.
All conventional passenger lifts must meet the requirements for safety and conformity of either the Machinery or Lift Directives in their design, construction and installation, when first brought into use. (Note: stair lifts, certain slow moving platform lifts (less than 0.15 m/s) and construction hoists come within scope of the Machinery Directive instead of the Lifts Directive).
As the lift will primarily be used by members of the public the link attached to this section contains a document that will provide guidance to help you comply with more general health and safety legal duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
It is important to ensure that waste is managed and disposed of in the correct manner. Certain types of waste will require disposal in a prescribed manner and therefore it is necessary to organise the disposal and receive a certificate confirming that the waste has been disposed of correctly.
It is for each synagogue to make itself aware of the local authority requirements for waste disposal and recycling and to comply with the requirements.
Waste build-up can lead to infestation and is a fire risk. Therefore, it is essential that regular removal of rubbish and cleaning takes place at each synagogue.
All synagogues should provide suitable bins for the disposable of nappies and sanitary protection. These should be purchased together with a contract for the disposable of the waste. You should request a waste disposal certificate as part of the contract to show that the waste has been disposed of correctly. Your cleaner should not be handling this type of waste.
Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 act, any person responsible for the maintenance and repair of non-domestic premises, is required to take reasonable steps to find out if asbestos-containing materials are present, and if so, where, how much, what type and what condition it is in. They must also keep up-to-date records of the location and condition of the asbestos-containing materials and set out how the risks from these materials will be managed. The information must be made available to anyone who may work on or disturb them.
All Federation synagogues must therefore have an Asbestos survey conducted by a competent, qualified person. The shul administrator or other representative must keep a record of the survey and keep the Asbestos Register, showing the location of any asbestos remaining and how it is managed.
In cases where asbestos has been identified but is unlikely to be damaged, this must be appropriately labelled and recorded in the Asbestos Register. It is the responsibility of the shul administrator or other representative to ensure that the labelling and condition is checked on an annual basis, and the register kept up to date.
Where work is necessary to any asbestos which has become damaged or needs to be removed, appropriate arrangements must be made, always using an accredited contactor.
If a contractor has been hired to work in an area where asbestos has been identified, the shul administrator or local representative must inform them of it before any work starts. The Asbestos Register must be made available to all contractors, who must sign that they have understood and will comply with the required control measures.