13 Apr 2022 How Long Does a Food Hygiene Certificate Last?
The answer to the question of how long a Food Hygiene certificate lasts differs from how often you should renew it. A Food Hygiene certificate never expires. This doesn’t mean there is never a need or reason to renew it.
The legal requirement for Food Hygiene certification is covered under EC Regulation 852, which states all food handlers must receive Food Hygiene training relevant to their duties. Although this requirement doesn’t extend to repeating the training or renewing the certificate.
Just because legally there’s no reason to renew a Food Hygiene certificate doesn’t mean your Food Hygiene obligations are done and dusted after one training course. Best practice is often very different from specific legal requirements. It’s recommended to renew Food Hygiene training certification every three years, and preferably on an annual basis.
It’s highly recommended that you undertake refresher training at least once every three years. Many sources advise that your Food Hygiene certificate should be renewed on an annual basis to ensure that all staff are reminded of key areas of Food Safety and Hygiene. This should include how to properly handle and store food to ensure consumer safety.
Examples of reasons to update Food Hygiene certificates regularly can be:
Refreshing fading knowledge
First, skills and knowledge may dissipate over time. If certain aspects of training are not used regularly, then the memory from the original training may fade, leaving knowledge gaps that could cause mishaps that could injure someone’s health.
Putting an end to bad habits
We also tend to acquire bad habits over time, and confirmation bias ensures that when we cut corners and everything turns out ok this reinforces our confidence that these slight bends in the rules don’t really matter. Ensuring you refresh your knowledge can cement food hygiene and safety principles and practices and keep information fresh in your mind.
Changing regulations and legislation
Another important reason to regularly update your food hygiene training is that legislation and regulations change frequently. The world is constantly evolving, consumer demands are always changing and therefore the food and drink sector must keep up. In addition, scientific research is always uncovering new information, and therefore food hygiene advice is constantly changing.
Food Safety Regulations are often updated and revised based on new threats and discoveries, increasingly globalized supply chains and developing consumer demands and expectations. There’s a good chance that your Food Hygiene training is out of date by the time three years have passed and you will have something new to learn.
Keeping up with staffing changes
In the midst of staffing changes, promotions and alterations to roles and responsibilities it’s easy to lose track of training status and this may mean that you or members of staff now need a higher level of training to safely fulfill their duties.
For example, if a member of staff who once only served food now has some responsibility for food preparation because you’ve introduced a new product or you’ve shuffled your team around, they may now need Level 2 Food Hygiene Training. Or if they have new supervisory duties, they may now need Level 3 training. See our blog, “Which Level of Food Safety & Hygiene Training Do You Need?” for more information.
Update your Food Hygiene certificate with professional Food Hygiene Training providers
Whether delivered online or in-person, you can demonstrate your commitment to high Food Hygiene standards by providing comprehensive training for yourself and your staff members. When you refresh your Food Safety training, this reinforces your knowledge of the following key areas of Food Hygiene:
- Food hygiene law and regulations
- Potential health issues
- Temperature control
- Food preparation
- Food storage
- Food waste disposal
- Personal hygiene, sickness and foodborne illness
- Cleaning and cross-contamination prevention
The importance of regularly updated Food Safety and Hygiene Training
Strong Food Hygiene and Safety knowledge is essential for safeguarding consumers but also for safeguarding your business. It can help with quality control, resulting in reduced wastage and increased productivity and profitability. But as we found out in last month’s blog, poor food hygiene can cost your business money in multiple ways, including costly recalls, wasted stock and legal action.
A commitment to regular Food Hygiene training also provides evidence of Food Safety due diligence. In the event of an outbreak of foodborne illness or a food safety breach, large gaps between training dates may not be sufficient in demonstrating true commitment to the prevention of Food Safety breaches.
Regular training and updating of food safety certification demonstrates that you understand the importance of Food Safety and have done everything reasonably possible to prevent Food Safety breaches. It could even provide a defense in the unlikely instance of legal action resulting from a breach or alleged breach.