Food Safety Level 2 - When to consider it?
As the hospitality industry faces significant pressure from staffing shortages and high customer influx, food safety training is back on the table. Are you considering taking a level 2 food safety course for yourself or your team? Or perhaps you’re not too sure where to start with the training of your new hires? Read along as we’ve come up with some top tips on how best to choose a level 2 food safety course. More importantly, we touch on why this will be an essential tool for your foodservice business to be fully compliant this summer and beyond. So sit tight and enjoy!
The hospitality staff crisis and rise of food safety concerns
Summer has officially kicked in! Hungry consumers are now flocking to bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels as a breeze of optimism is lifting everyone’s spirits. But there is a problem. And it’s a huge one. Faced with a shortage of almost 200,000 staff and only 27% of furloughed staff back into work, the struggle is real for hospitality. Businesses need to be on top form this summer in order to recover from past lockdowns. But without full teams, some businesses have to cut service hours or, on the other hand, work extra hours. Recently, Indeed estimated that during June 2021 alone the volume of hospitality job postings was 29% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
What’s more is that food safety standards could be in jeopardy. Indeed, fresh staff is being hired to cope with this summer’s influx and post-Covid demand. But how qualified are these new teams? Do they have less – or no experience at all – to cover shifts? Appropriate food safety training is key in order for hospitality to get back to business in full steam with the highest safety standards. Let’s explore more!
An introduction to Food Safety Level 2
Let’s find out a bit more about this qualification, who it is for and what it entails.
Why food safety training is key for the months to come
Unfortunately undertrained teams with obsolete knowledge still often lead to poor food hygiene scores during EHO visits. And this is now more and more occurring with the return to work of ex-furloughed staff. So whether it’s full-time or seasonal hires, ensure everyone who is handling food (including service) feels knowledgeable and comfortable with everything food safety. And this is also essential knowledge to build a strong Food Safety Management System, the backbone of your safety structure. If you’re on a hiring spree like many other hospitality businesses, don’t panic! Getting your new teams ready is easy and you can get ahead of the game. As for your current staff, make sure they’re up-to-date with the latest regulations, namely Natasha’s Law and allergen labelling from October 2021.
What is Level 2 Food Safety?
A Level 2 Food Safety course should cover all the bases to keep your premises and customers safe. Whilst often recognised as a ‘basic training’, it should empower your teams to be fully compliant with current food safety laws. Anyone who handles food will have a reliable and solid day-to-day food safety knowledge. In other words, your summer is sorted as staff will know about:
Ensuring your staff is at least Food Safety Level 2 qualified will help secure a high score during your next hygiene inspection. And especially if you can prove it with evidence such as digital certificates 😉
We offer 100% free level 2 food hygiene courses.
Fancy it? Register by clicking on the image below!
Who needs a Level 2 Food Safety Course?
Safety is indeed everyone’s business. Anyone who is involved in handling food should have this level of training as a minimum. So whether your business is food retail, hospital catering, manufacturing or takeaway – do not miss out. The more the merrier!
Previously furloughed staff might think about retaking a level 2 food safety course to refresh on food safety best practices. Level 1 is lighter and can be appropriate for staff who have minimal contact with food. Waiters, waitresses, back- and front-of-house would technically be fine with Level 1. Though the reality shows that more and more accountability and pressure is set on them, hence the need to consider a Level 2 certification for your entire team. Can’t be too savvy with safety right? 🤔 Finally, Level 3 is more targeted to managers, supervisors and head chefs!
All in all, Level 2 is an ideal level of training for all your staff to work smoothly whilst ensuring total safety at your premises. Also, for management, that’s:
- Complete peace of mind,
- And less stress!
In addition, it will make your Environmental Health Officer happy during his or her next visit.
↘️ Explore our guide on which food hygiene course to choose – No more confusion!
Is it a legal requirement?
Technically, food safety and hygiene training is a legal requirement here in the UK to comply with food safety standards. So in other words, you (and your team) are accountable and responsible to ensure food is safe to eat. However, you are not legally required to follow a food safety course (e.g. it could be ‘on the field’ training). Unfortunately the lack of training is often one of the reasons why foodservice businesses fail their compliance audits. Allergen incidents, poor personal hygiene, unclear labelling on raw foods and boom – here comes the food safety incident and the poor hygiene score. So food safety training should definitely be something to look into for the resilience and prosperity of your business.
A Level 2 Food Safety Course: your best ally to keep your business and brand safe
Let’s find why and how getting your team Level 2 Food Safety qualified will help you have stress-free summers and beat staffing shortages.
It will help you get a 5* food hygiene rating
Take the power and show your EHO he or she can trust you. Indeed it’s your responsibility to keep the premises and food safe. Both for your staff and customers. During your food hygiene inspection you will be asked to show evidence of strong and reliable safety processes. So having clear and up-to-date food training certificates for your staff will give everyone total confidence. Have a chat with your fresh hires and ex-furloughed staff on how a safety training course could ensure a safe summer and beyond!
Feeling a bit stressed about your next
food hygiene inspection? We have a FREE pre-inspection checklist to help you!
Train your entire team for cross-skilling and cover all shifts
You’re not alone! Many businesses are indeed struggling right now due to the lack of hospitality staff. This means extra shifts, drained staff or even worse – shorter service hours. Why not getting your entire team to take a Level 2 food safety course to bring more operational flexibility? Cross-skilling will allow some staff to cover the shifts of others if needed. That way, if some of your back-of-house staff have to help with food prep and serving, they’re already trained and safe! On top of that, having the entire troop fully Level 2 qualified will further reinforce the safety standards of your foodservice business. Here’s to a smoother summer!
Protect your brand with no more food safety mistakes
There’s no room for food safety mistakes when trying to recover from the pandemic. And food safety training is your best ally to ensure top-notch standards. Also to distill confidence in your loyal and prospective customers. Think about yourself as a manager or head chef. Now, imagine that feeling of total relief knowing that everyone is qualified and knows how to identify and control food safety hazards. Storage, preparation, temperature control, personal hygiene – it’s all covered. Keep cooking and focus on what you love doing!
Re-boosted and motivated teams to WOW your customers
Your staff will love to know you’re committed to their self-development. The feels of motivation and peace of mind for your current staff and new hires will be real. Empowering and trusting your people will be a key factor of success in the recovery (and prosperity) of your business this summer and beyond. So show them you care and be proud!
There’s a lot of hesitancy at the moment among hospitality workers about whether to go back to work after being furloughed for so long. Hence, investing in the self-development of your people will emphasise how much you care about their return to go back to business safely.
How to choose the right Level 2 Food Safety course?
There is a multitude of food safety trainings available. Overwhelming right? But they’re not all equal! Keep reading as we’re about to share with you our checklist to pick a reliable level 2 food safety course. Get your teams the very best!
Opt for online mass-training to avoid costly in-person workshops
In-person food hygiene trainings can end up costly. Plus, it’s inconvenient and rather inflexible with strict deadlines and cancellation terms. The beauty of online food safety training lies in its cost efficiency. Indeed, you can mass-train your entire team and new hires with cheaper online training.
Ensure you get total visibility on progress and achievements
Once again, not all food safety trainings are equal. Check out the ones that will give you total visibility on your team’s progress. Also, ensure your staff will receive digital certificates. Then you can use them as proof of diligent food safety training and processes for your next food hygiene inspection. The Level 2 Food Safety course certificates should last between 1-3 years, depending on your training provider.
'On-the-go' access for total convenience and flexibility
This year is all about flexibility and adaptability. Give your team total convenience with online food safety training accessible from desktop, tablet and mobile. That way, they can they take their time and study on-the-go! Or at home during their days off. They’ll thank you for that!
Check that the course is comprehensive enough and CPD accredited
A level 2 food safety course should cover all the bases of food safety. So do pay attention to the modules included so that it guarantees the highest safety standards. It should include the following:
- Temperature monitoring
- Identification and control of main food safety hazards
- Personal hygiene
- Storage best practices
- Pest control
- Avoidance of cross-contamination
In addition, going for CPD-accredited food safety courses will add an extra layer of reliability and credibility for your staff training.
Go for interactive, fun and quiz-based courses
Finally, let’s keep it fun and entertaining for your staff. Training doesn’t have to be a daunting experience – or worse, a chore! This will ensure they give their full attention whilst studying. So yes, food safety can be fun and engaging whilst remaining comprehensive. This does sound like Navitas Safety Academy… But we will come back to that! 😉
Is Food Safety Level 2 enough?
Whilst covering the basics of food safety, there’s much more your staff should be aware of. Whether for new hires, summer recruits with less experience or a refresher course, you should consider additional training such as:
- Health & Safety Level 2. To cover manual handling, workplace hazards, health and safety of colleagues, equipment handling etc.
- Allergen Awareness. To ensure your staff is aware of allergen risks and how to control them (allergen labelling, storage, handling, what to do with an anaphylaxis incident etc.)
- Food Safety Level 3. Upgrade to level 3 for managers and supervisors to fully cover safety processes within your team and go the extra mile.
So in other good news, the fun isn’t over!
About Navitas Safety Academy
We make food safety training fun, 100% online and it’s CPD-accredited. From off-the-shelf to bespoke training, you say and we do. Give your team the very best to kick start summer 2021 and beyond!