How To Establish An In-house Food Safety Training Program?

A recent survey showed that the biggest barrier to good food safety was the lack of time that manufacturers had followed by a lack of food safety training. However, because of this lack of training there are many people who suffer from various types of food borne issues. This is what makes implementing a good food safety program so important.

Controlling food hazards can also mean good business for a restaurant chain or a hotel. But this can only come about if you either have good in house training or you’re signed up with a training partner who ensures that all existing and new employees are well versed in food safety. The best way to make sure that everyone follows your company’s safety policies is to design an in house program.

How to start?

The first step is to formulate a good food safety policy. This policy needs to keep in mind the food you sell and the number of employees you have. You then need draft a training program which encompasses your policies, the right safety procedures and one that is easily updated. You will want to ideally train all your employees starting from entry level workers right up to management since it’s everyone’s job to deal in food and all employees contribute to the same industry.

Once you’ve drafted a program you then need to consider a few other factors, these factors include:

  • All your employees will require this training before they are put to work. You should select qualified food safety trainers who will be responsible for training staff, this will keep new employees away from coworkers, from whom they would pick up bad habits. This helps to ensure that all bad habits stay out! During new employees’ in house training everyone should be made aware of the fact that your company is dedicated to providing high quality food.

When your trainers do this it will ensure that all employees take food very seriously. While general training can be shorter it is also important to have more specialized job specific training like for people in shipping, sanitation and maintenance.

  • All supervisors and managers will also need to be trained. A manager or supervisor who has received good food safety training will be able to train all his employees as well as answer any questions they may have. All your managers should be up to date of even the slightest changes in your program. Supervisors and managers will also require training of new technology.
  • All CCP or Critical Control Point monitors require detailed food safety training especially of procedures. Good CCPs are important because they can prevent, eliminate or at the very least reduce hazards. So they need to receive the best most professional training. Keep in mind the fact that the slightest deviation in a procedure can result in a rather uncontrolled hazard.
  • You will also want to train backup employees for all your key positions like CCP monitoring because an untrained employee can pose a food safety risk.

How often to train?

Food safety training is a somewhat ongoing process in either a food plant or a restaurant chain. If there are any changes made to your process then training needs to be within the first week of implementing these changes. In an industry setting machine specific training needs to be conducted every time a machine is either upgraded or new employees are hired.

As a rule of thumb food safety training for all employees should be refreshed every year with minor updates and changes. This will ensure that everyone remembers what they are taught regardless of if they have been shifted to another task or if they are new to the business.

Employees who do not follow a procedure correctly will have to be retrained. Alert Force warns that any failure to retrain employees will cause problems. There needs to be a test at the end of training in order to ensure that employees understand their job before they are put back to work.

Training should be documented

It is imperative that all training be properly documented. There needs to be a training record which clearly outlines the training date, signature of attendees, trainer’s name and training purpose. The same goes for retraining employees.

Featured images:

License: Creative Commons image source

License: Creative Commons image source

Dean has been in the food industry for most of his life. He started out as a plant employee responsible for proving in house food safety training but then he later start his own food chain based in Sydney. He also trains both his own and external employees in all things food safety related. 

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