Why food handlers need Food Safety Level 2 right now
The world we are all slowly returning to is not the same as the one we left. Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped everything from the way we work and communicate with one another to the way we look after ourselves and protect ourselves. Perhaps one of the most notable changes is the rise in hygiene awareness, to the extent that the global hand sanitiser market is expected to be worth a staggering $1.87 billion by the end of the year.
With such awareness and (in some cases) outright paranoia circulating widely, there’s going to be a significant impact on the catering and hospitality sector and this isn’t a ‘phase’ that’s going to fade over time. Coronavirus is going to be with us for the foreseeable future and even after a vaccine has been found, it will already have fundamentally shifted the ground beneath our feet as far as consumer expectation is concerned.
In such an environment, it’s never been more vital for those of us 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.
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 rejoin the workforce.
“Proper training will also ensure that there are minimal mistakes.”
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 during the lockdown period of new, home-based businesses, with many of those who had been furloughed during the pandemic or had lost their jobs entirely 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 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, 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, as in a post-lockdown world, whilst businesses can take every possible precaution to encourage employees to practice 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, which will be particularly important in a world still living with coronavirus.
Waste Disposal and Pest Control – Pest control is a fundamental aspect of every food safety course but when it comes to waste disposal, there are going to be more stringent expectations in place given the potential for coronavirus contamination.
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 waiting to open up again after a long lockdown 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 the Fizz Training Academy today to book your slot on the next Level 2 Food Safety in Catering Course.