Which Level of Food Safety & Hygiene Training Do You Need?

Which Level of Food Safety & Hygiene Training Do You Need?

When running a food business, your number one priority must be keeping your customers safe and healthy. There’s an often underestimated and under-appreciated special responsibility that anyone who works with food has for safeguarding the health of consumers, and ensuring that the food they sell is safe to eat.
It can be confusing and difficult to understand your legal and ethical obligations as to what level of food safety and hygiene training you need to achieve yourself, and what you need to offer your staff as well as the due diligence required when selecting suppliers.

Which level of Food Safety & Hygiene training do I need?

It depends on levels of responsibility and food handling. There are usually four levels of training, some generalised and others targeted towards specific sectors and environments. Allergen training is available alongside food safety and hygiene training. Here we outline which roles and responsibilities warrant which food safety training course.

Level 1 Award in Food Safety Awareness

This training is for all employees working for a business that produces, serves or sells food and who handle low risk or wrapped foods, or have minimal food handling responsibilities. Training covers issues such as keeping work areas clean, the dangers of contamination, personal hygiene and basic food safety.

Examples of roles that require this basic level of training are:

  • Front of house employees like waiting staff, bar staff and baristas
  • Retail workers including check out assistants or stock replenishment staff
  • Back of house employees like kitchen porters and warehouse staff

Level 2 Award for Food Safety in Catering & Manufacturing

Level 2 food safety training is for anyone who works for a business where any type of food is prepared, cooked and handled. Level 2 training covers food safety and instils knowledge of safe practices and procedures. The training covers:

  • Contamination and food poisoning prevention
  • Storage including refrigeration and cold holding
  • Cooking, hot holding and reheating foods
  • Personal hygiene
  • Pests
  • Legislation
  • Equipment and premises
  • The aetiology of food poisoning and basic microbiology
  • Proper cleaning and disinfection procedures

Level 2 training is suitable for workers in the following roles:

  • Pubs, hotels, restaurants, cafes and caterers
  • Takeaway and fast food outlets
  • Supermarkets and retail establishments like delis, bakeries and farm shops
  • Manufacturers of food and drink
  • Hospitals and care homes in both the public and private sector
  • Schools, nurseries and childminders
  • Prisons and workplace canteens

Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety

Level 3 food safety training is aimed at those in supervisory or roles within food-related industries. It covers all aspects of food safety & hygiene as covered in level 2 but focuses on how to train and supervise staff as well as how to undertake food safety audits and manage food safety systems, processes and procedures.
This intermediate-level training is suitable for owners and managers of SMEs in food-related industries who have completed the Level 2 Award in Food Safety within the last three years.

Level 4 Training

The highest level of training we offer has external accreditation and represents sector-specific qualifications. All managerial staff should achieve this level of accreditation, from business owners to trainers to managers and hygiene auditors.
Industry-specific courses are available and the qualification and certifications are tailored to manufacturing, catering and retail industries.

The course covers:

  • Food safety management
  • Legislation, compliance and industry guidelines and best practices
  • Hazard awareness and management
  • Allocation of responsibilities
  • Operational requirements
  • Cleaning and disinfection practices
  • Quality and safety controls for the supply chain
  • Pest control
  • How to establish and implement and maintain food safety procedures
  • Communication, information management and staff training

Level 4 training is relevant for:

  • Business owners of any food-related business of any size
  • Management with strategic responsibility
  • Those who wish to offer level 1 training personally
  • Those with recent (within 3 years) Level 2 Food Safety Award and ideally already have completed Level 3.

What other Food Safety training do I need?

In addition to food safety training, businesses who are looking to score highly on their food hygiene inspection should invest in HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) training alongside food safety and hygiene courses. This would ensure a complete and comprehensive understanding of food safety and hygiene procedures.
Additionally, allergen awareness training of varying degrees of depth and complexity should be undertaken regularly. Ensuring regular allergy training makes certain your staff are up to date with industry standards and best practices surrounding the duty of care food businesses have to keep allergy sufferers safe and in control of food dangers.
Our range of training programmes is available in a variety of online and in-person formats, with various specificities and specialisms. Alongside our food safety & hygiene training, we offer HACCP and allergen training. To discuss all our training courses and devise the best training programme for your business, please get in touch.