What is a Food Hygiene Certificate?

What is a Food Hygiene Certificate?
A food hygiene certificate is given to those who undergo and successfully complete a recognised Food Safety and Hygiene course, which includes food-handlers. Food-handlers need to follow several regulations in the Food Safety Act 1990, designed to ensure the safety of consumers. Food safety training is compulsory.

The advantage of taking an online course, such as Train4Academy’s Food Safety courses, is that the courses are of a consistently high standard, having been written and endorsed by food safety specialists and can be taken at any time with the certificate offered instantly and directly to the successful learner.

Do I need a Food Hygiene certificate?

Currently, there isn’t a legal requirement for those who prepare or sell food to have a certificate. However, most food businesses are more likely to hire those that have a valid food hygiene certificate as this is evidence of the training as this will support training records in case of auditing. It will also form part of a due diligence defence in the event of prosecution.

Which Level of Food Hygiene Course do I need?

This will depend on your role. Food Hygiene and Safety Level 1 course is aimed at those workers who are not directly involved with the preparation or handling of high-risk foods directly but work in a food environment and where food is present including those who work with pre-packaged foods. For example, those who work as:

  • Waiters and waitresses
  • Food delivery drivers
  • Bar workers etc

If your role involves handling or preparing food directly, then you will need to take a minimum of a Food Hygiene and Safety Level 2 (available for retail, catering, and manufacturing) in order to comply with food-handlers’ legislation. Most people in the food industry fall under this category as it is ideal for all food-handlers who prepare and serve food directly to the consumer.

If you are a manager, supervisor or head-chef, you will need Food Safety and Hygiene Certificate Level 3 Award.

What do the Food Hygiene Courses cover?

The courses cover a broad range of topics including the 4 main types of food safety hazards, including allergens, their sources and control. The topics covered will depend on the level of the course.

Learners will study how to avoid food safety issues and recognise food safety hazards. An important part of the food safety courses is how to apply the principles of safe and effective cleaning and disinfection of the workplace.

How long is a food safety certificate valid for?

Currently, a food safety certificate in the UK does not have an expiry date, but food industry experts recommend that they are updated every 3 years to ensure food workers knowledge and skills are kept up to date.

How can I get a Food Hygiene certificate?

They can be gained in a variety of ways, including face-to-face training or online learning, such as Train4Academy’s courses. They could be taken as part of a workplace Induction or compliance training. Persons in charge of food establishments, such as owners, managers or supervisors, will need to obtain a Level 3 Food Safety certificate.

Why is Food Safety and Food Hygiene training so important?

The food industry has a huge responsibility to ensure that food is safe to eat for the consumer. The FSA (Food Safety Agency) have estimated that there are around one million cases a year of food poisoning due to poor food safety hygiene practices.

This can be caused in several ways. For example, food can become contaminated or cross-contaminated with harmful bacteria which leads to food-borne illnesses, (i.e. Salmonella); foods that are cooked insufficiently or at the wrong temperature, poor food-handling and storage or at incorrect storage temperatures.

Food allergies seem to be increasing and recent high-profile cases have raised public concerns about allergens in the food we purchase. Food manufacturers, retailers and caterers have a duty to ensure they adopt the highest food safety standards as best practice, which these courses offer. Knowing how food can become contaminated and controls that can be put in place to remove or minimise the risk to a safe level, is vital. Poor food safety practices can have very serious consequences both for consumers and food businesses.