Who needs to have a Food Hygiene Certificate?
Although not all people who handle food should obtain a food hygiene certificate, EU regulation 852/2004 states that food businesses should ensure that their staff have received been trained properly in matters related to food hygiene. Whether you directly or indirectly handle food in a commercial setting, there are certain requirements you should meet.
Here are the main pieces of legislation related to food hygiene:
- The Food Safety Act 1990
- Food Hygiene Regulations 2006
- Regulation (EC) 178/2002
All three pieces of legislation have the same objective; ensuring that prepared food that’s for human consumption has met the standards the consumer expects and does not put the consumer’s health at risk. If you are not familiar with any legal requirements, you should seek professional training. Some of the things you will learn include the importance of controlling the temperature of the food, eliminating food hazards, personal hygiene and preventive measures to ensure that serving, preparing and handling food are done properly.
The people involved in primary food production, e.g. slaughtering and harvesting activities do not adhere to these rules. Instead, they have their own set of rules that they are required to follow at all times. In most cases, food hygiene laws only apply to people involved in transporting, catering and in the retail industry.
Who is a Food Handler?
Food handler does not necessarily refer to primary chefs because the term is used to describe people who handle food whether directly or indirectly. Therefore, if you are a waiter or a counter assistant who serve over the counter, you are a food handler and thus and you should adhere to set requirements. Other people who should adhere to these rules include:
- People who transport and deliver foodstuff in bulk
- Those who wash utensils and dishes that come into contact with food
- Those who work in retail and they come into direct contact with foodstuffs like baked goods, fishes, vegetables etc.
The level of food training hygiene you need is mainly determined by the degree to which you are involved in food handling. The closer you are to food, the more training you need because there are more opportunities of contamination and mishandling.
Levels 1, 2 and 3 of a Food Safety and Hygiene Certificate cover similar topics, but each of the levels has more in-depth coverage to ensure that food handlers are qualified. For instance, level 1 doesn’t cover cooking and food preparation comprehensively as level 2 does because there is a difference in the way the two staff handle food or are close to food.