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Be warned! The food at your office Christmas party could be your biggest health and safety threat of all

by , 07 November 2014
If you're planning your office Christmas party, there's a lot to consider. You need décor, a DJ, food, drinks, mood lighting and much, much more.

But don't get lost in all your planning and forget about your health and safety obligations at the event.

You have to keep your employees safe at your office Christmas party, just like you would during work hours.

And one thing you'll need to protect your employees from is the food at your Christmas party.

Let me explain why...

 

Here's why it's important to protect your employees from the food at your Christmas party

 
You need to be aware of which of your employees have food allergies. Otherwise, you might serve food that could give someone a serious allergic reaction and could even kill them.
 
For example, let's assume Jane from sales has a peanut allergy. You don't know this so you order meat balls cooked in peanut oil. Jane's allergy is so severe that even oil could kill her. But she doesn't know the meat balls were cooked in that oil and eats them. 
 
Within seconds you have a serious medical emergency on your hands, all because of the food. 
 
Here's what you can do to prevent this emergency.
 
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Do you want to be fined, jailed or have a criminal record for life?
 
If an accident occurs in your workplace, and the person dies, you could be charged with culpable homicide, charged penalties of R100 000 or 2 years in jail! The CEO or Owner of a company is personally accountable for health and safety at work. 
 
 
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Do this to ensure you don't serve your employees potentially deadly food

 
When you send out the invitation, say you'll serve food at the party. Ask everyone to state any possible food allergies they have when they RSVP. (Also ask them to specify other food requirements such as vegetarian or vegan while they're at it.)
 
Then look at all the RSVPs and take note of who has what allergies. 
 
You can still order the food, just make sure you clearly label all the different types of food so employees know what not to eat.
 
Doing this will mean your employees can safely drink, eat and be merry at your office Christmas party.
 

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