Whilst many businesses have been forced to close for the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown, NHS workers, carers, delivery drivers and other companies providing an essential service, including food manufacturers and food retailers, are continuing to operate.
Many food and drink processors have seen an increased demand for their products, as the public stock up on goods for self-isolation. In fact, such businesses are now recruiting additional staff to be able to meet the requirements of the supermarkets.
Basic food safety training is a minimum requirement
Understandably food manufacturers need to recruit workers as quickly as possible, but it is extremely important that prior to starting work they have the food safety and HACCP training appropriate for their role. This means that food operatives should have basic food safety training as a minimum. Supervisors and team leaders, on the other hand, should hold a Level 3 Food Safety & Hygiene qualification and/or a Level 3 HACCP qualification or equivalent.
Cutting corners in training can result in the production of food that is unsafe to eat, which can lead to food poisoning. Many food manufacturers are seeing a spike in sales similar to that usually seen at Christmas. It is at busy periods such as this that it can be tempting to cut corners. It is essential that anyone handling food is trained to understand the importance of personal hygiene, regular and effective handwashing and the cleaning of surfaces, utensils and common hand touchpoints.
This is especially relevant during the coronavirus pandemic to avoid passing the virus on to co-workers. Although coronavirus cannot be transmitted through food, the above measures, wearing the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and distancing within the workplace will help to protect staff. Any food handler who is unwell should not be at work. If they have symptoms, they should follow government advice to stay at home.
Same great training, different formats
As providers of face-to-face training, we believe that this is the very best way to learn and retain knowledge acquired during a course. However, since social distancing and self-isolation measures came into play, we have been unable to deliver our classroom-based courses either at our centre in Skipton or in-house at customers’ premises. The safety of our customers, staff and trainers is paramount.
Nevertheless, thanks to the power of technology, we are still able to deliver several of our food industry training courses over the internet. We can achieve this by using a video conferencing service.
All course attendees log in to a training session which uses the same PowerPoint presentation, with breakout activities and is hosted by the same trainer as they would have at a regular course at Skipton or at their own premises. Attendees can interact and act questions of the trainer either verbally or by texting.
Find out more
To find out more about training via Zoom, Microsoft Team, Skype or any other method, please get in touch with our Business Development Manager, Claire Lennon at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see which scheduled courses are being delivered in this way by taking a look at our latest training calendar.
At Verner Wheelock we pride ourselves on delivering the very best training to the food industry even during these uncertain times like these. Stay safe, keep preparing safe food and we look forward to welcoming you back to our training centre sooner rather than later.