The Milford Care Group has been awarded a Five Star Food Hygiene Rating across all five homes in the group thanks to the hard work of catering manager Peter Radford.

Peter, who has excelled in his field since starting at Milford Care, is passionate about everything to do with food and food technology. Last year, thanks to Peter’s research, the Milford Care Group became one of the first care home groups to serve up pureed food that looks like meals using a product called ‘Gelea’.

Peter however wasn’t done there. His next project was to ensure all five homes in the group achieved a five-star food hygiene rating. It’s taken two years of hard work and dedication to get all the homes to the same outstanding standard and the work isn’t done yet, now Peter wants to make sure they all maintain it. Before Peter started this project all the homes did have food hygiene ratings, some five, others three or four stars but the goal was for everyone, no matter which home they live in to receive the same high-quality food.

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The Milford Care Group had its care homes inspected in January by local food safety officers who looked at how the food is prepared, served, cooked and stored as well as looking at the cleanliness of the care home’s facilities and how the staff are trained to prepare and maintain food safety records.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is ran by local authorities, making this a much more complex task for Peter since all local authorities have their own criteria and style of grading, and Milford Care has homes in the Derbyshire Dales, Derby and Nottinghamshire areas.

To get five stars, businesses need to score 15 or fewer points at the inspection; Milford Care scored an outstanding 5 points. The group now has strict food safety systems in place, so other than human error, which is eliminated by the great training all staff receive, all the homes should maintain the five-star rating. Peter is meticulous at making sure his team keep paperwork up to date at all five homes, with tasks including checking and recording temperatures at regular intervals. Knowing they have done this means the catering team can be sure the food they produce will be of the highest standard.

Peter is in constant touch with all the homes, helping with any queries and making sure they are up to date with regulations. He went on to explain why this food hygiene rating is so important, “People are looking much more closely at measures such as food hygiene ratings now, with horror stories constantly hitting the press, we as a business need to make sure we can demonstrate just how good the standards are here at Milford Care.”

“You wouldn’t want to leave your family member somewhere with a one-star rating, and why should you. At Milford Care clients can be happy and secure in the knowledge that their family members are being well looked after at a home that takes food preparation and hygiene seriously.”

It’s too soon to see the impact that the five-star rating has had yet for the Milford Care Group, but the hope is that it will generate more clients that want to reside in one of the Milford Care Homes based on their reputation.

By achieving the top five-star rating, Milford Care isn’t just meeting the minimum standards required by law, as with everything it does, Milford Care is going over and beyond.