Representatives from McDonalds talked to Brooke Weston students about food safety in a pilot education initiative that is due to be rolled out across the country. The company is developing material to span business studies, food technology, careers, hospitality and enterprise within the school curriculum.
Year 10 students on the BTEC hospitality and catering course were the first to trial the session on food safety that was delivered by education officer, Mr William Chew and Mr Glyn Pashley, who owns ten local franchises including restaurants in Corby, Kettering and Market Harborough. They covered issues including safe handling, storage and cooking methods and told students of the rigorous tracking and monitoring process that ensures the food is as safe as possible.
Mr Chew said: ‘Since McDonalds started in the UK schools have been asking franchisees or business managers to go in and deliver on certain aspects of the business. What we are trying to do is create something that fits in with the school curriculum but also meets our strengths as a business. We have been doing a couple of pilots, one here and one in Kent and they should be rolled out across the country from September. The students were excellent, answering questions and engaged with the activities. They certainly understood the concept of food safety. The control points we put in place for food safety are critical to our business success.’
Mr Pashley, who has been a franchisee for 12 years, told students about his restaurants, which employ 700 staff and serve around 70,000 customers a week. His busiest is at Phoenix Parkway, Corby, which is open 24/7 with 60 per cent of its trade coming from drive-through sales.
He emphasised the company values of quality, service and cleanliness and said: ‘Every single day we go through a whole system checking fridges, freezers, cooked products and we also have traceable codes that ensure a complete belt and braces approach to food safety which ensures a safe product for our customers.’
Food technology teacher Miss Letchet said: ‘This was a really valuable talk that showed students that the safety issues we emphasise in the classroom are relevant and are put into practice daily in the industry. Food safety is central to the success of any catering business and Mr Chew and Mr Pashley gave our students a valuable insight into how McDonalds operates.’