Alex Wilkins, Head of Business Development at iHASCO, discusses the importance of food hygiene training in the FMCG sector
In the dynamic FMCG sector, staying on top of the latest legislation and ensuring that your employees have all the key skills needed to fulfil their job roles is vital to business success. Due to the nature of the industry, companies have an irrevocable duty of care when it comes to consumer health and safety. This is especially true with regard to food handling where the need to build a competent workforce is higher than ever.
Yet notoriously high employee turnover, combined with increased financial pressures, can make systematic workforce development a challenging task. A company’s training system must be cost-effective while guaranteeing high employee engagement and enabling a rapid onboarding. At any given time, all employees should have undertaken the appropriate training to keep food safe and hygienic.
Without effective training you drastically increase the risk of food becoming contaminated, which in turn puts the health and wellbeing of consumers at risk, ultimately harming your company’s reputation. According to the World Health Organization, one in 10 people fall ill every year from eating contaminated food, and 420,000 people die each year as a result. This is a risky game that no one can afford to play.
Food business operators must ensure that their employees are supervised and given adequate training in food hygiene to guarantee the safety of their food to customers. Food hygiene safety breaches are unfortunately more common than you may think. An analysis of Food Standards Agency data revealed that in more than a third of areas in the UK, none of the highest-risk food businesses met minimum food hygiene standards in 2016/17.
So, what are you doing to ensure food safety at your workplace?
An online training programme can transform your talent development strategy while keeping costs down. Our Food Safety and Hygiene training courses on the subject have been approved by the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health for total reassurance.
Level 1 training is mandatory for all staff who work in food production or retail business and who handle low risk or wrapped foods. It gives the basic requirements of food safety and hygiene, keeping work areas clean, reducing contamination and identifies key food safety issues. Employees, who need level 1 training include warehouse staff and retail workers such as check out assistants or stock replenishment staff.
Food and drink manufacturers require Level 2 training which is designed for any setting where food is prepared, cooked, and handled. This course gives an understanding of the importance of food safety and knowledge of safe practices and procedures. It gives an understanding of how to control food safety risks, like personal hygiene, storage, cooking and handling and helps build confidence and expertise to deliver safe food to customers.
There is no excuse for handling or preparing food in an unsafe manner, and there’s even less of an excuse to serve this food to customers. Although time constraints and poor training are often used as reasons for poor service, this cannot be continued in any kind of hospitality or culinary establishment.
Employees need to understand, in-depth, why food safety is essential and the only real way to do that is through effective food safety training. This training is not optional, but rather, a legal requirement for anybody who regularly handles food.
Equip your staff with the essential training that allows them to handle food with a knowledge of good safety and hygiene practices. Learn the signs of food poisoning, all about record-keeping, and food safety procedures with our CPD Accredited & IOSH Approved Food Safety & Hygiene Training. The programme explains the hazards associated with poor food hygiene, and how you can keep food safe. It also ensures best practice, helps you work towards legal compliance in under an hour and you can store your food safety records and certificates in our management system.