What do I need to do?
You must ensure that the food handlers which you employ are supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activities.
The extent of the training will depend on the duties and responsibilities of the food handler. The greater the risk the more extensive the training.
Staff who handle open, high risk foods should receive food hygiene training equivalent to level 2 such as the Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering within 3 months of starting work.
At the very least, before staff are allowed to start work for the first time as a food handler, they should receive verbal or written instruction in the Essentials of Food Hygiene.
- Keep yourself clean and wear clean clothing
- Always wash your hands thoroughly, before handling food, after using the toilet, after handling waste, before starting work, after every break and after blowing your nose
- Tell your supervisor, before commencing work, of any skin, nose, throat or stomach infection or if you have an infected wound. You are breaking the law if you don't
- Ensure cuts and sores are covered with waterproof, high visibility dressing
- Avoid any 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 foods strictly separate
- When re-heating food, ensure that it gets piping hot
- Clean as you go. Keep all equipment and surfaces clean.
- Follow food safety instructions, either on food packaging or from your supervisor
It is good practice that food handlers who handle open high risk foods and who have a supervisory capacity such as head cook or chef, or managers undertake a higher level of training such as the Intermediate Food Hygiene Course (Level 3), or the Advanced Food Hygiene Course (Level 4).
Training plan and records
It is recommended you provide a training plan to identify the training or experience needed for each member of staff. Thereafter, it is good practice to keep records of training completed by every member of staff to help demonstrate compliance with the training requirement.
Training needs of your staff should be reviewed on a regular basis and refresher or update training should be provided where necessary. It is recommended that regular refresher training is undertaken at least every 3 years.
For details of training providers please contact the food safety team or follow the links below.
Advice and Guidance
The Food Standards Agency have developed 10 short videos which provide best practice guidance on a number of potential food safety issues. Each video is about a minute long. They demonstrate these and other food hygiene practices:
- Effective handwashing
- Chilling foods down as quickly as possible
- Checking that foods are cooked thoroughly
- Effective cleaning
- What to do if a member of staff is ill at work
- Keeping pests out of your business
- What to look for and the action to take
If you need further help, please contact us