Choosing a food safety course

‘Which Food Hygiene or Food Safety training course do I need?’ is a common enquiry from our customers.

There are a number of options to choose from and the best place to start is to ask a few simple questions.

  • What is your role within a food environment, or what do you plan to do?
  • Are you working, or planning to work, in a food sector such as retail, catering, logistics or manufacturing?
  • What food safety experience or food safety qualifications do you or your staff already have?
  • What types of food will you be handling or how much contact with food is involved in your role?

Food hygiene or food safety (the phrases are often interchangeable, and you’ll hear both) qualifications generally fall into four different levels. For new starters, or those who are new to the topic, we always recommend a face-to-face training experience. E-learning or distance learning may be options for those who are requalifying or refreshing their knowledge.

A Level 1 food safety qualification is ideal for anyone involved in handling ‘low-risk’ or wrapped foods. It is also suitable for those working in a food environment but not necessarily handling food, such as kitchen porters, laundry services, food equipment manufacturers or maintenance operatives.

A Level 2 qualification covers a wide range of topics and is ideally suited to those who are preparing and handling ‘high-risk’ foods. This qualification is our most popular and tends to be the standard training for many employers.

Kitchen supervisors and food managers will undertake a Level 3 qualification, sometimes referred to as Intermediate Food Safety. This training course is delivered over two or three days and is more in-depth. Ideally, candidates will have a Level 2 qualification before attending this training course.

For staff who are responsible for implementing or maintaining a food safety management system, training in the HACCP principles is essential (and a legal requirement). HACCP courses are also useful as professional development for other staff in a food business.

Owners and managers of food businesses, and those responsible for auditing food safety systems, may wish to extend their knowledge and undertake a Level 4 qualification.

Training courses are available for a variety of sectors, including catering, manufacturing, retail, logistics, healthcare and childcare.