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National Craft Butchers News

Wild Game


Wild Game


The Food Standards Agency recently updated their guidance, “Supply of Game for Human Consumption”. It is mainly a cosmetic updating but could lead to greater regulatory activity with your EHO asking questions about your game handling on their next visit.

The requirement to be licensed to sell game has long gone (and sadly missed by many) but there are still a few procedures butchers need to remember, especially if you buy from local hunters and shoots etc.

The most important requirement is that you know who you are buying from. Ask them if they are registered with the local authority as a food business (they do not have to be an “approved game handling establishment”) if they are supplying small quantities on a local basis. This assumes that you are supplying the end consumer.

If you supply other businesses things can get more complicated- call me to discuss further or check out the guidance for yourself. The definition of local is generous; local means within the hunter’s own county plus the greater of either the neighbouring county or counties OR 30 miles from the supplying county boundary.

The other main legal requirements are to keep records. Ensure that your supplier gives you a proper detailed invoice for every supply. The recommended temperature control for wild game is below 70C for large game and 40C for small game.

Many EHO’s will be anxious about how you handle game especially if it is still in fur and feather and/or needs evisceration. Make sure you have a documented procedure and excellent separation followed by a thorough clean and disinfection. EHO’s will often expect separation to be a designated separate room. Where this is not possible enforcement officers will usually tolerate separation in time provided you have robust procedures in place. Call me if this becomes an issue for you.


Positive case of Covid-19 in your business?

Positive case of Covid-19 in your business?

Positive case of Covid-19 in your business?

What happens if one staff member has a confirmed case?
We would advise closing early/opening late to deep clean the premises and sanitise all surfaces that the staff member may have touched, retrain all staff on importance of washing hands and social distancing. Notify staff that they may be contacted by NHS/Public health staff and told to self-isolate, if they are, they must do so immediately. You may also wish to consider increased precautionary measures in store such as face coverings as well as visors, reduced staffing etc. You do not necessarily have to close the shop or send everybody home. You and your staff do not need to automatically self-isolate.
What about more than one staff member is confirmed?
If there is more than one case of COVID-19 in a workplace, employers need to contact their local health protection team to report a suspected outbreak. Find your local health protection team. They will decide if closure and of self-isolation of staff and/or family need to be considered. 
Please also notify us so we can ensure you are following the correct advice and getting support.
What can I do to minimise the chances of multiple staff needing to self-isolate or having to close my shop?
Abide by social distancing guidelines, staff should be 2 metres apart. Where that is not possible you need to consider visors, face coverings and screens but these do not provide the same protection. 
Try to form bubbles/shifts with your staff so that they do not all work together to minimise spread and impact. Review your risk assessment regularly.
What is the criteria for being asked to self-isolate?
It varies and decisions will be made on a case by case basis by the authorities however usually if you have been in close contact you may be asked to self-isolate. A close ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 7 days from onset of symptoms (this is when they are infectious to others). This could be a person who:
  • has had face-to-face contact (within one metre), including:
  • being coughed on
  • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
  • contact within one metre for one minute
  • has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes (even if they have used face coverings)
  • has travelled in a small vehicle, or in a large vehicle or plane
Staff only need to Self-isolate under the following circumstances
  • They or someone they live with has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • They have been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus
  • Someone in their ‘support bubble’ (or your ‘extended household’ if you live in Scotland or Wales) has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
  • They have been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery
  • They have symptoms and are waiting for test results,
Current Guidance states that if you have a confirmed case of Covid-19 you must self-isolate for 10 days. All who live in the same household must self-isolate for 14 days. As an employer you should support and enforce any member of staff in these circumstances. If they receive a phone call at work, you must send them home immediately. You can pay and claim back SSP for eligible staff that are off due to these circumstances. If in doubt call National Craft Butchers, Peninsula.
Wherever possible minimise your staff and customers encountering each other in any of the ways listed above. This will minimise the risk to your staff, customers, and business.
Full Workplace Test & Trace Guidance can be found here -
Call National Craft Butchers on 01892541412 or Full Members can access Peninsula Employment Services 24/7 by calling 08448007091 with their membership information.

Byford's Win Supreme Champion

Byford's Win Supreme Champion

Robert Byford of Byford's Food Hall in Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex is the judges’ choice for Supreme Champion winning with a Beef Pasty in the first ever Craft Butcher Awards announced on Instagram today from the headquarters of organisers National Craft Butchers (NCB) in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Organiser and competition adjudicator Roger Kelsey said "What distinguishes Robert's product from the rest is like all category winners it won gold and is one of few to get top marks. But it was the one product to get the overwhelming approval of the judges for best in show, and for me, the product with the most customer appeal and commercial potential.”

As the latest generation of NCB competitionsto celebrate the innovation and skills of UK Craft Butchers. Craft Butcher Awards confirms its relevance and 21st century credentials with BBQ, Charcuterie, Kitchen Ready, Meat in Pastry, Ready to Heat & Eat and ever popular Sausage categories.
Held on the 9th-10th September at Harper Adams University near Newport in Shropshire.

Judges Graham Palfrey, Keith Fisher, Helen Vaughan, Steve Derrick and Steven Vaughan with industry consultants Claire Holland 'crunching the numbers' and Viv Harvey re-heating and cooking. Awarded 65 Gold, 59 Silver and 23 Bronze awards for the 155 products entered by 23 NCB members from across the UK.

In the BBQ category, third place and Highly Commended went to Jamie Archer of Archers Butchers in Norwich, Norfolk with a Chorizo Burger. Runner Up was Andrew Searle and Andrew Ayris at Andrews Quality Meats Ltd in Marlborough, Wiltshire with their Signature Pork Chop. While Owen Taylor & Sons of Alfreton, Derbyshire took the trophy and winning with a Chicken Kebab.
Winning the top prize for Charcuterie unusually with both a Black Chilli and a Coralini Salami was Barry Walker of Hampshire Salami Company in Wolverton, Hampshire. Runner Up was Sally Lugg of Primrose Herd in Redruth, Cornwall with Dry Cured Smoked Streaky Bacon. And in third place taking Highly Commended was Charles Clewlow of H Clewlow and Sons of Nantwich, Cheshire with their Middle Cut Bacon.
Highly Commended in Kitchen Ready also went to Charles Clewlow of H Clewlow for their Sweet & Sour Pork Balłs. Owen Taylor & Sons took Runner Up with a Minty Lamb Rump and Jamie Archer of Archer's Butchers took top spot with an Italian Pork Fillet.
Rewarded for its innovation, winning Meat in Pastry was a Spanish Chicken En Croute from Damon Buckingham of Buckingham's Artisan Butchery based in Petersfield, Hampshire.
Runner up was Midlands based Walter Smith Fine Foods with a Scotch Steak Pie while Highly Commended went to Owen Taylor & Sons for a Chicken & Leek Pie.
A second win went to Jamie Archer of Archers Butchers with a Scotch Egg in the Ready to Heat & Eat category. Runner Up, also for a Scotch Egg was Charles Clewlow of H Clewlow with Highly Commended for a Faggot went to Stewart Hayman of Hayman's Butchers in Sidmouth, Devon.
Highly Commended in the Sausage category for a Lincolnshire Gluten Free sausage went to Paul Elleston at Trussells Butchers in Knebworth, Hertfordshire. Runner Up was Walter Smith Fine Foods with a Free-Range Pork & Beef with Honey & Wholegrain Mustard sausage. While Paul Buttling of T Buttling Butchers trading in Shaftesbury, Somerset took the trophy with a Pork Sausage.

Because of latest Covid-19 restrictions certificates are being sent to Highly Commended and Runner Up recipients. While arrangements are made with sponsors Angel Refrigeration, Innovative Food Ingredients, Mantle Packaging, Paymentsense, Verstegen and Windsor Food Machinery to present the trophies with a media photo call while ‘socially distancing’ at the winners’ premises.

A full list of entrants and awards can be found at