Get trained and get legal

The law states that: "The proprietor of a food business shall ensure that food handlers engaged in the food business are supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activities".

Detailed guidance on how to meet this requirement is set out in this industry guide to good practice.

ALL food handlers must have a minimum base level of hygiene understanding BEFORE they start work:

  • Keep yourself clean and wear clean clothing
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly: before handling food, after using the toilet, handling raw foods or waste, before starting work, after every break, after blowing your nose
  • Tell your supervisor, before commencing work, of any skin, nose, throat, stomach or bowel trouble or infected wound. You are breaking the law if you do not
  • Ensure cuts and sores are covered with a waterproof, high visibility dressing
  • Avoid unnecessary handling of food
  • Do not smoke, eat or drink in a food room, and never cough or sneeze over food
  • If you see something wrong, tell your supervisor
  • Do not prepare food too far in advance of service
  • Keep perishable food either refrigerated or piping hot
  • Keep the preparation of raw and cooked food strictly separate
  • When reheating food ensure it gets piping hot
  • Clean as you go. Keep all equipment and surfaces clean
  • Follow any food safety instructions either on food packaging or from your supervisor.

These points can be amended to suit, as some points may not be relevant to your business.

You should tell staff about these points and in addition give hygiene awareness training preferably at induction, but otherwise within four weeks of starting work (eight weeks for part timers).

The overall aim of hygiene awareness training is to develop a knowledge of the basic principles of food hygiene. The topics covered may include:

  • Temperature control
  • Food poisoning
  • Personal health and hygiene
  • Cross contamination
  • Food storage
  • Waste disposal
  • Foreign body contamination
  • Awareness of pests.

In particular, staff should be instructed on any control or monitoring points identified by your Hazard Analysis.

Within three months of starting work all staff who carry out food preparation, or handle high risk open (unwrapped) foods require formal food hygiene training to level 1 (Eg: CIEH Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering).

Training records

It is good practice to keep training records for each member of staff. It is not required by law, but can be very important in demonstrating compliance with the law.

Last updated: Wed 12 June, 2024 @ 14:20