There has been and will continue to be growing concern for food safety and hygiene standards surrounding anyone handling food as part of their job, not just those working as chefs or cooks. These conversations have led to an increase in the number of people wondering, “What is the importance of food hygiene?”
In such an environment, it’s never been more vital for those working within the catering sector to ensure we are all on the same page and operating with the best food safety practices. For all of us, this means it might be time to get ahead of the coming tide of worry and hesitation by ensuring that we and our staff are 100% prepared and qualified to handle food safely and keep customer misgivings in mind.
We have put together this article explaining the importance of food hygiene, what constitutes food safety and hygiene standards, who this affects, and the courses we have that can help you.
What is the importance of food hygiene?
Food hygiene is an integral part of all operations that involve the preparation and cooking of food, as well as how this food is handled and stored before being disregarded.
“Proper training will also ensure that there are minimal mistakes.”
From a young age, we are taught about the importance of personal hygiene, such as ensuring we wash our hands when they are dirty, and although at a basic level of understanding, magnifies the importance of hygiene in society.
There could be disastrous consequences if food hygiene standards are not followed for businesses, individuals, and customers. Foods that aren’t cooked, prepared, stored, and handled properly, in line with hygiene and safety standards, can cause food poisoning and other health issues.
Who needs food hygiene training?
Any individuals responsible for handling food should be trained in food hygiene and safety, completing an awareness training course suitable for their job role. This includes any staff members who have to prepare, store, cook, manufacture, or package food, as well as anyone who is in direct contact with food in any shape or form.
Food Safety Level 2 is comfortably the most common training course taken by everyone from sandwich makers to waiting staff and cooks. It’s a foundational course that provides a minimum qualification for anyone who is being employed to handle food. In a post-lockdown world, when consumers are more choosy about where they eat, drink and socialise, such a qualification should be a top priority for anyone planning to join the workforce.
It’s not only businesses that should be taking the initiative here either. Individuals hoping to find fresh employment opportunities within the sector will be employable right away if they take the course of their own accord. It could give them the extra something over others competing for the same job. Proper training will also ensure that there are minimal mistakes: something none of us can afford in this climate.
There has also been a substantial rise of new, home-based businesses, with many people taking to the kitchen to start their own delivery businesses. With so much competition in this thriving and growing sector, being able to confidently display a Level 2 qualification might give them a necessary competitive edge and will also inspire more consumer confidence in the sector in general.
Level 2 course topics
There are several food safety and hygiene topics covered in this course that will help you discover the importance of food hygiene.
There is a legal requirement that everyone who handles food in any capacity in a catering environment has received the appropriate supervision and training. The Highfield Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering (RQF) is a qualification that fits this bill perfectly and is the most popular food safety qualification accepted by enforcement officers and auditors, accounting for 70% of all regulated food safety qualifications and certifying over 350,000 people every year.
The course covers the following topics:
Law Compliance – One of the most important aspects of any hygiene and safety course is that what you are learning complies with government standards. Now, more than ever, we must be complying with the law on both a moral and customer relations level.
Scientific Knowledge – Not only does the course cover the more general practices and precautions that employees should be taking, but it also underlines the science behind those practices. This includes all of the microbiological, chemical, physical, and allergenic hazards of a food-based environment and how to control them.
Practical Advice – There are several practical tips offered by the course that might otherwise be overlooked by those who haven’t come from a food preparation background. These include the practicalities of temperature control and stock rotation, as well as tips for keeping work areas and equipment clean and safe at all times.
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Personal Hygiene – This is the big one, whilst businesses can take every possible precaution to encourage employees to practise good hygiene, it is ultimately up to the individual. By learning the best personal hygiene practices and their significant importance, individuals will have the best possible chance of preventing contamination. This goes beyond simple hand washing and also includes best practices on protective clothing, cuts, and reporting illness.
Waste Disposal and Pest Control – Pest control and waste disposal are fundamental aspects of every food safety course.
One day at a time
The Highfield Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering is a foundational training course regulated by the CCEA, OFQUAL, and Qualification Wales. It’s perhaps the most affordable, reliable, and popular course of its type in the UK and can be completed in a single day. Plus, we’re now able to offer it online!
“A refresher course would never be a bad idea.”
Even if you’ve already taken a Level 2 course, it’s a sector where the goalposts are always moving, now more than ever, so a refresher course would never be a bad idea. Indeed, refreshers are recommended every 3 years.
So, whether you’re an employer in the sector or are an individual hoping to start a business or work in the industry, it’s a qualification you simply can’t afford to overlook.
Contact Buddy today to book your slot on the next Level 2 Food Safety in Catering Course. Additionally, we have a range of additional food safety courses available to book online now, including Level 1, Level 3 and our Food Safety for Catering Course.