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Basic Food Hygiene

Although Basic Food Hygiene courses are now often called Foundation Courses, “basic food hygiene” remains a term widely used in the food industry to refer to a particular level of food hygiene training.

At a time in 1995, when food hygiene training first became a legal requirement in the United Kingdom, a number of Industry Guides to Good Hygiene Practice were published. These guides provided practical advice to the various food sectors; catering, retail, wholesale, baking etc. on how to comply with the requirements of the General Food Hygiene Regulations 1995 and they included detailed advice on the level of training that should be undertaken by different types of food handlers.

Put simply, the Industry Guides described three stages of training. Stage One is called “The Essentials of Food Hygiene” and is the elementary instruction that should be given to all staff in a food business before they start work. It includes matters of personal hygiene and some simple rules about food handling.

Stage Two is known as “Hygiene Awareness Instruction” and includes more information on matters such as cross-contamination and temperature control and is deemed sufficient training for staff who do not handle open food. Those who do handle high-risk open (unwrapped) food require Stage Three training. There are three Levels in Stage Three training and a Basic Food Hygiene course meets the criteria for Level 1 training as described in the Industry Guides to Hygiene Practice.

A Basic Food Hygiene course will include some elementary microbiology that describes the principal food poisoning bacteria. It will also deal with practical food hygiene matters such as temperature control, prevention of contamination of food, cleaning, disinfection and pest control.

The Healthy Distance Basic Food Hygiene Course meets all the requirements of Level 1 Stage Training as defined in the Industry Guides to Good Hygiene Practice. As a distance learning course the Healthy Distance Basic Food Hygiene Course is a particularly convenient way of training staff, with postal, CD ROM and online versions of the course available. There is no need to send staff away to attend a course. A food handler can study in quiet periods during the day meaning that it is not necessary to provide cover whilst staff are away undertaking training.

When a number of other course providers, such as the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Royal Institute of Public Health, changed the name of their Level 1 courses to “Foundation Course in Food Hygiene” a conscious decision was taken by Healthy Distance Limited to retain the traditional, well understood title of Basic Food Hygiene as the name of its Level One course.