Hygiene courses available online for local food businesses

Published: 27 January 2014

Food businesses in the borough can make sure all their employees are fully trained and qualified to handle foodstuffs by taking advantage of new online hygiene and food safety courses.

Anyone who works in catering or handles, prepares or sells food on a commercial basis should by law be fully trained to do so. This is to minimise the risk of food poisoning outbreaks and other public health risks.

To make it easier and more cost effective for local businesses to comply with their legal obligations, the council is now running online food safety courses, in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

The online courses can be completed at any time of the day or night, meaning that shops, restaurants and catering firms do not have to lose key staff during working hours.

The council’s consumer protection spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Maintaining the very highest standards of hygiene and safety are absolutely vital for these local businesses. Giving their customers some kind of stomach bug would be a real recipe for disaster for their livelihoods.

“This is why we offer these courses and why we are now making them even easier to access. Butchers, bakers, chefs, cooks and even waiters can either attend these courses in person, or if they can’t spare the time during the working day, they can obtain these important qualifications in their spare time by logging on to our website.

“Our intention is to make sure that staff in the borough’s food shops and restaurants operate to the highest standards and give the public the safest level of service.”

The courses that are available include levels 1 and 2 food safety; level 1 fire safety; level 2 manual handling and level 2 health and safety. Courses vary in price but begin at £20 per candidate. 

When environmental health officers inspect food premises in Wandsworth they check that staff who handle any foodstuffs are suitably trained. If they are not this can lead to enforcement action. The absence of proper staff training and qualifications can also have an adverse impact on a business’s score under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

For more information about the courses and to book a place visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/foodsafety.