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Is food hygiene training a legal requirement?

Not necessarily. However, it is a legal requirement for food to be handled, produced and served/presented in a safe and hygienic manner.

This is the responsibility of every food business owner to ensure staff are trained and supervised in all aspects of food safety. The law states that a food handler needs to trained to a level commensurate to their duties. This can be demonstrated by staff having received training on the job, through self-learning, or through prior experience.

You would need to make detailed, accurate records and have these in place in case an Environmental Health Food Safety Officer asks for proof. If you decide to go down the route of formal training, there are many on line courses available. Here at Mid Devon, we are always happy to offer advice at any time but we no longer run any food hygiene courses. The ‘basic’ food hygiene training (or Level 2) is adequate for the majority of food handlers. However, if you are a supervisor or doing more complex activities, such as manufacturing high risk foods, then you may need to consider an intermediate course (Level 3). A food hygiene training certificate does not technically expire. However, it is recommended that a refresher course, as a minimum, be completed every five years, if you have been out of the industry for a considerable amount of time or if there are any changes in the legislation.

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