All UK food-business owners are responsible for ensuring that their employees have full training and understanding of food handling. This includes supervision and refresher courses where appropriate.
While there are no strict laws on what qualifications are needed for people who handle food, environmental health officers are on hand to give advice and encourage food-business owners to ensure that employees are aware of food health and safety when protecting the public.
Food handlers are those employees who work in an environment where food is cooked, prepared or handled.
Where to Find Training
While it is not necessary to hold a food hygiene certificate to sell or handle food, the basic training is recommended. Local courses are available as well as online training. It’s a good idea to check with your local authority to see if they can recommend any courses in your area. The certificate does not have an expiry date, but working alongside the environmental health officer, business owners should be aware of when an employee might need some refresher training. This could come about from changes in legislation or if there have been technological developments. It may be the case that the business has invested in new catering equipment such as meat grills from https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/, and further hygiene training is necessary.
The Food Standards Agency has a wealth of information and links to training on more in-depth subjects such as food allergies, vacuum packing and food labelling.
Why Is Food Safety Important?
If food handlers are not aware of hygienic practices, then food may not be prepared to best standards and could be unsafe for human consumption. This can lead to food-related illnesses and affect the health of your customers. Hygiene is important to your business and its reputation, as well as consumer health, and so it is important to ensure all staff are trained correctly.
As the owner of a food business you are responsible for consumer health and therefore the training of staff preparing and cooking food, as well as cleaning and decontamination of catering equipment and kitchens. Responsibilities also extend to food storage and labelling, as well as efficient stock rotation.
Well-trained staff should be aware of these concerns on a daily basis, and good training will help maintain a healthy and viable business.