Food safety legislation requires that food handlers are trained, however it does not specify the exact way of how this should be done.
This is what the legislation says: (Regulation (EC) No 852/2004)
Food business operators are to ensure:
1. that food handlers are supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activity;
2. that those responsible for the development and maintenance of the procedure referred to in Article 5(1) of this Regulation or for the operation of relevant guides have received adequate training in the application of the HACCP principles;
Online training is becoming very common nowadays, especially in trying to comply the part 1 of the above. So, is this acceptable?
As stated above including associated current guidance nothing states that a person cannot do on-line training. However sad but true, some businesses are more interested in showing an Environmental Health Officer a certificate, rather than understanding the concepts of food safety.
Food hygiene training is not about just showing your local EHO a training certificate but it’s about ensuring that the concept of food safety is fully understood. This should be the main aim of any form of training.
So can l do online training? As long as the course addresses all the relevant aspects of food safety and it is fully understood. You might also want to check the accreditation of the course before embarking on it. You must also bear in mind that online training can be opened to abuse as anyone can be on the other side of the computer undertaking the course. In light of this, you might want to be prepared for additional questions from enforcement officers, as they would like to verify that you really did the course and understood it.
Whichever way you choose to do food hygiene training, bear in mind that the first priority, is to have a full understanding of the concepts of food safety for your food business. The priority should never be to show your local Environmental Health Officer a training certificate.
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