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What Food Hygiene Qualifications do I need to work in retail?

Written by: Harry Doherty
Published on: 8 Nov 2016


Why do I need a qualification?

Whether you’re looking to enter a retail position that requires you to handle food, or you’re just looking to build on your skills and abilities. The food hygiene qualification can provide you with the knowledge, training and insight to work safely and hygienically with food produce. Many courses providing this qualification offer you the opportunity to complete them in your own time, and can be completed entirely through digital means, meaning no need to book time off work or commute long distances. For confirmation of your accomplishment, you also receive a certificate.

What food hygiene certificate do I need?

There are three different levels of food hygiene qualification that are available to you, each which can be completed in less than 24 hours. When deciding which qualification you are interested in taking, it is important to bear in mind that some retailers such as Nespresso, Booths, Aramark, Hotel Plan and Arla Food do prefer that any staff who are required to handle food hold level one or two qualifications.

For those of you entering a senior retail position which requires you to supervise others handling food, you might be required to complete level three.

Level 1 [Food Safety and Hygiene]:

Taking approximately two hours to fully complete, level 1 will take you through the basics of why food safety is important, food safety hazards, contamination, personal hygiene and equipment. The topics covered can be utilised by anyone looking to find out more about basic hygiene and food preparation.

Level 2 [Food Safety and Hygiene for Retail]:

For those who complete level two of the food hygiene qualification, on top of learning key skills you will be educated to answer questions such as:

  • What food hygiene and safety is important?
  • What are the personal and legal responsibilities?
  • What are the impacts of food-borne illness (Food poisoning)?
  • How does food become contaminated?
  • How do you prevent contamination through good hygiene practice?
  • How do you prevent contamination through safe temperatures and storage?
  • How are food safety hazards controlled in line with the EU’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) legislation?

The topics that you learn at this level are appropriate for all retail workers operating in small and large grocery stores, butchers, bakers, fish and farm shops, market stalls, delicatessens as well as other retailers where staff are required to handling hot and cold food.

Level 3 [Food Safety and Hygiene for Retail]:

Specifically designed with those operating in senior retail and supervisor roles in mind, the level three qualification takes approximately 8 hours to complete and is appropriate for anyone interested in achieving the highest grade of knowledge and awareness in food safety and hygiene.

Those who undertake level three will explore topics such as:

  • Food safety hazards and contamination
  • Microbiology
  • Food-borne illness
  • Food law
  • The role of the supervisor
  • Food safety management
  • Food preservation
  • Food storage and temperature control
  • Personal hygiene
  • Workplace equipment and design
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Pest control

Where can I get my certification?

One organisation offering this qualification are Appetite Learning. Who offer all three stages, as well as many other retail, hospitality, and business specific qualifications. With some courses being CPD certified and City & Guilds accredited.

We have provided you with a brief overview of what you can expect when beginning your food hygiene qualifications. Whether you know where you want to start or are interested in finding out more, Appetite Learning have a detailed guide available for level 1, level 2 and level 3 courses.

If you found this blog interesting, please check out our other blogs for resources, advice and expert knowledge.


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