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The importance of food hygiene and safety as a manufacturing supervisor

schedule 11th September 2019 by Virtual College in Food and Drink Last updated on 11th September 2019

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Food manufacture forms the initial part of the food production cycle and as such, there are few processes which demand as much awareness of food hygiene and safety.

Lack of expertise, efficiency and training with regards to food hygiene can have a significant effect on not only the business but also every client and food retailer who purchases from the business. Contamination which starts with manufacture can viciously and quickly spread throughout the national food chain, with serious consequences.

As the figures responsible for overseeing food hygiene practice, it is essential that supervisors and managers have a heightened understanding of food safety responsibilities and procedures. Trained supervisors and managers can not only safely monitor food production, but they can also train others to be aware of their proper hygiene practices in the workplace.

This blog will delve into some of the reasons why food hygiene is so important for manufacturing supervisors, as well as revealing some of the ways that food safety benefits food manufacturers.

Health and safety in food manufacturing

The food manufacturing industry covers a wide range of business types across the UK including farms, slaughterhouses, fisheries and any other business which processes or grows foodstuff. Hygiene within food manufacture requires high standards to prevent outbreaks of bacterial infections which can, when entering the food chain, lead to illness or even death for those who eat contaminated foods.

As well as the safety of the public, one of the most significant reasons why good practices should be observed is that adequate food safety in food manufacture is the law. British law (under the Food Safety Act 1990) and European law (under the General Food Law) have regulations in place with regards to safe food production, which, when not observed, can result in significant penalties for companies, including heavy fines or even prison sentences. A strong knowledge of safety and hygiene along with at least a level 3 food hygiene certification for supervisors in manufacturing are a pre-requisite for earning a 5* rating for a business from the national hygiene rating system.

Another reason for the observance of safe food production is the impact on business reputation. Clients for food manufacture are numerous; hospitals, schools, cafés and restaurants all purchase food from food manufacturers. An outbreak of food poisoning, traced back to a food manufacturer, can result in bad publicity and significant client and business loss. A good example of this is a recent listeria outbreak which affected NHS hospitals and resulted in significant business loss and production halts for two significant food manufacturers.

Supervisors and food safety

Business managers and supervisors play an integral role in the application of good food health and safety in food manufacture workplaces. It is their responsibility by law to maintain good practice in the business, and a solid understanding of food safety and hygiene helps them to do just that, allowing them to monitor the work of their employees and colleagues to ensure the workplace remains contamination free. This allows the business to comply with the law and ensures that no harm comes to the business reputation on account of a lack of food safety knowledge.

Perhaps more importantly, a deep knowledge of food hygiene and safety principles places a supervisor in an excellent position to train others about the various aspects of safe food manufacture. This grants insight for employees with regards to their own responsibilities regarding food hygiene, allowing them to define hazards and to recognise the positive impact of thorough food preparation. As such, well-informed and expertly trained supervisors can spread their knowledge through the business and significantly reduce the risk of contamination and bacterial infections.

Finding out more

There are few places where food hygiene and safety is more important than at a food manufacturer. Be it a strawberry farm or a dairy processor, the rule is the same: observance of good food health and safety operations is a vital part of day-to-day work. Those in charge of this are the supervisors and managers, whose knowledge of food hygiene is a boon both to the business and their employees.

In order to gain a better understanding of food safety as a food manufacturing supervisor, click through the following link for our excellent Level 3 Food Safety and Hygiene for Supervisors in Manufacturing course. This City and Guilds accredited programme explore the responsibilities of supervisors in food manufacturing when it comes to food hygiene, and provides them with the necessary tools to apply what they’ve learned and to train others.

Top Food Hygiene FAQs

Can I make and sell food from home?

Yes, as long as your kitchen meets the necessary hygiene requirements and you have a food hygiene certificate. You can use your home as a base for making and selling food as long as you register your home with your local authority and let them know you intend to use your home as business premises.

Do food hygiene certificates expire?

While food hygiene certificates do not have an expiry date, it is recommended that you renew it every three years.

Do I need a food hygiene certificate to give food away?

No, a food hygiene certificate is only required if you intend to sell food. However, if you plan to give away food to family, friends or charity events, good hygiene levels must be maintained.

Do I need a food hygiene rating?

If you are making and selling food from home, it is not compulsory to obtain or display a food hygiene rating.

Click here to visit our full FAQ Hub


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