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The importance of food safety training


Louise Vickers



Apr 2020

Food Safety

You may know from my previous blog. “You learn something new every day.”

Training is key in all industries.

  • It helps us stay safe.
  • It helps us implement new and current skills to our everyday jobs.
  • Ensure we are current with up to date information from experts in our field of working.
  • Enables good practice ideas to be implemented in the workplace.

Developing and maintaining a business’s food safety management procedures

If you are responsible for developing and maintaining a business’s food safety management procedures, you must have had suitable training on food safety and hygiene to do this. Skills can be learned by:

  • Training while working
  • Self-study
  • Relevant previous experience

You must make sure that any member of staff who handles food is trained in food hygiene and safety, including allergens, before they start work.

HACCP system

All food businesses must put in place food safety management procedures based on the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP).

HACCP is a system that helps you identify potential food hazards and introduce procedures to make sure those hazards are removed or reduced to an acceptable level.

These procedures will help you produce and sell food that is safe to eat, providing you:

  • keep up-to-date documents and records relating to your procedures
  • regularly review your procedures to ensure they reflect what you produce or how you work.
  • Implement new procedures and training where required.

Online training vs classroom training

All business owners have a legal requirement to provide training that is fit for purpose and relevant for the job being undertaken.

Regulations state that all food handlers must receive the appropriate training in food safety practices relevant to their duties. However, having a good understanding of food safety practices is not only a legal requirement, it is also essential in protecting the health of both consumers and food handlers.

Food safety, in fact, most training can be sourced either online or via a training centre providing classroom training. Everyone learners in different ways.

Online, individual training will suit some people however, for those practical and visual leaners who like discussions and like to ask questions a classroom-based training course will be of more benefit.

You will gain far more from learning with colleagues and other professionals from outside your business and sharing good practice ideas in a classroom setting that can be implemented within your food business.

Some free online short courses can be beneficial, especially if it’s a refresh of certain areas and does not involve practical assessment.

The Food Standards Agency offer some excellent online training courses around allergens with some useful information on how to implement these guidelines.

However, caution should be applied when choosing online free training instead of face-face training to ensure you and your colleagues get the training and skills that they can remember and use way after the course has finished. It is vital that any course you are investing your time into is legally accredited and complies to food safety guidelines for training or you will have wasted you precious time.

The importance of ongoing food safety training

Business owners MUST ensure continual refresher training to ensure all food handlers keep refreshed with current guidelines and skills.

It is also vital that those new to a job or industry have training in line with their job role.

We have been working with the Birmingham NHS community trust to provide all food handlers with a legally accredited qualification at level 2 in food safety.

It is vital that everyone is trained to an adequate level to ensure the public & everyone in the workplace is kept safe.

So, remember:

  • Training is key in all industries.
  • Any training course you undertake should be legally compliant to the food industry.
  • Outstanding training implements all learning styles, encourages all delegates to discuss ideas and how guidelines and new knowledge can be implemented within the business they work in.
  • Anyone who handles food in any setting requires some formal food safety training to at least level 2.
  • Be careful when investing your time in online training it is not just to “tick a box” but give you the skills, knowledge and more importantly a legally accredited qualification that is required for your business.
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