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Choosing a Food Safety Trainer

While the FSAI provides specific advice and support on the topic of food safety training, it does not however provide training courses in food hygiene or HACCP.

Here is a checklist of important points when choosing a food safety trainer

1. Does the trainer have appropriate food safety qualifications?

  • They must have a background in food safety (the FSAI Guide to Food Safety Training - Level 3 gives information on what skills they should have). 
  • They must have relevant experience in the food industry. 
  • They must have knowledge of how adults learn and training skills. 

2. Can they provide follow-up support?

Post training follow-up is beneficial as it can help when starting to put the training theory into practice in the workplace and can help to clarify any issues that may have arisen since the training took place.

It is advisable to contact a number of training providers to find the one that suits your needs, as there is no 'one fits all' training course.

3. Is management participation encouraged?

Management involvement is crucial to the success of the training. It is important that the trainer and management work together to ensure that all food safety aspects relating to the business are addressed in the course.

4. What do some of their previous clients say about them?

Talking to previous clients will help determine the quality of the training provided. However, it must be kept in mind that the success of the service is dependent on the input of the training provider and the food business.

5. Is the training provider interested in identifying your specific needs?

Are they willing to spend time with you, listen to you and explain the best method of meeting your requirements?

6. Are they willing to show you some of their training aids or previous work?

This will give you an indication of the quality of training you can expect to receive and assess whether the training is generic or tailored to suit your needs.

7. How often does food hygiene training have to be done?

There is no frequency set out in legislation for training. FSAI advises that food businesses regularly review their staff training needs and keep up to date with food safety developments.

8. What does the enforcement officer (e.g. environmental health officer) look for when assessing food safety training?

The enforcement officer will not necessarily want to see a certificate from a particular training course; rather, they will observe the hygiene practices and verify the food safety knowledge of staff. They may ask to see food safety records or ask about the food safety training that has been provided.