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What if my food hygiene certificate expires during lockdown?

food hygiene training

If you handle, serve, prepare, or take responsibility for storing food at work, it’s a legal requirement for you to have food hygiene training or a food hygiene certificate and/or to receive supervision by someone who has completed a food hygiene course. This helps to ensure the safety of the general public as well as yourself and everyone you work with, and food hygiene training protects your business’s reputation.

However, during lockdown, it can be difficult to receive face-to-face food hygiene training if this is what you are used to, with social distancing measures making it impossible for some staff to complete their training.

Furloughed staff and online food hygiene training

Fortunately, online food hygiene training at Levels 1 and 2 can help you to keep up to date with your food hygiene training, receive a verifiable certificate to prove you are trained, and be fully prepared to get back to work with a refreshed knowledge of food hygiene.

Even if your staff are furloughed, they can still take online training:

“Furloughed employees can engage in training, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation. Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.

HMRC, 15th April 2020
food hygiene training

Do I only need to take a food hygiene course once?

Many people believe that food hygiene training only needs to be completed once, and then you’ll take your knowledge with you for life. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Over time, our brains naturally forget a lot of the information we learn on training courses. Not only this, but the laws and guidance surrounding food hygiene change and adapt over time. As a professional, and someone who works with food that will be served to the public, you have a legal responsibility to keep up to date with all changes related to food safety.

For this reason, you are legally required to refresh your food hygiene training regularly. At the Food Hygiene Company, we recommend doing this at least once every 2 years, but it doesn’t hurt to be on the safe side and update your training more often than this.

Will my food hygiene training certificate go out of date?

Simply put, yes, your food hygiene training certificate will have an expiry date if it is delivered by a verifiable provider such as us at the Food Hygiene Company.

You should be sure to make a note of the date on your food hygiene certificate so that you know when to arrange refresher training. It’s best to arrange refresher training before the expiry date on your current certificate, to give you some overlap time in case of inspection. After all, getting caught with an expired certificate could lead to harsh consequences for you and your business or employer.

food hygiene training

What will happen if I am caught without food hygiene training?

If you are legally required to have a food hygiene training in your role, and an inspector finds out that you have not taken measures to complete food hygiene training, you could be in serious trouble.

Not only will a lack of food hygiene training have an impact on your business’s food hygiene rating, lowering your overall score, it can affect you as an individual too. You could face severe fines or, in some cases, even prosecution if the conditions in your workplace pose a risk to public health.

If word gets out about your lack of food hygiene training, the reputation of your business could suffer. In some cases, a lack of food hygiene training might even impact your ability to find work in a food environment.

How long does it take to complete a food hygiene training certificate?

If you choose to take your food hygiene training online, using a verifiable, accredited course such as ours at the Food Hygiene Company, it will take just 1 to 2 hours to complete a food hygiene training certificate. Upon successful completion of the course, you can download and print your verifiable food hygiene certificate immediately. (You can browse the full list of our available online courses by clicking here now.)

At more advanced levels, such as Level 3 food hygiene training, it will take you longer to achieve your food hygiene training certificate due to the depth of learning required. For example, our face-to-face Level 3 food hygiene training courses are delivered over 2 days, and your trainer will provide details of how to access your verifiable food hygiene certificate upon successful completion of the course.

food hygiene training

How can I find out when my food hygiene certificate is due to expire?

Most food hygiene certificates from reputable training providers, such as us at the Food Hygiene Company, will print the expiry date in a prominent location directly onto your food hygiene certificate.

However, if you have a food hygiene certificate that doesn’t include an expiry date, or if you can’t remember the last time you took a food hygiene course, it might be time to take a refresher. To be on the safe side, when an inspector calls, you must be able to give evidence of your training and the date it was completed. This is a legal requirement, so don’t try to get away with making up a date.

What if I’ve lost my food hygiene training certificate?

Unfortunately, it’s too bad if you’ve lost your food hygiene training certificate. You need to be able to give evidence of training to an inspector, which is why it’s highly important to keep all your training records and certificates in a safe place.

If you’ve lost your food hygiene training certificate and you can’t get a replacement, the safest thing to do would be to complete another food hygiene course and then make sure to store your certificate somewhere it won’t get lost again.

Fortunately, when you train with the Food Hygiene Company, you’ll have access to our unique online learning management system, which stores easily accessible copies of all your training certificates in one central online location. No matter where you are, you can view a copy of your current certificates at the simple touch of a button, from a phone, computer, tablet, or virtually any device with an internet connection.

Want to learn more about food hygiene certificates or refresh your training today?

You can click here now to view our full list of online food hygiene training courses.

For more information, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly customer support team by giving us a call on 01327 552136, or email us at help@foodhygienecompany.co.uk. Alternatively, you can use the live chat feature available on this website.

The Food Hygiene Company offices are open from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.