What can poor food hygiene cause?

food hygiene training

If you work in a kitchen or otherwise prepare food as part of your job role, you have a legal responsibility to complete food hygiene training. This duty ensures the safety of you, your colleagues, and everyone that you are serving food to, whether those individuals are members of the public, people you care for, or young children.

Very few people realise the effects of bad food hygiene past the obvious: food poisoning. In fact, there are multiple ways in which failing to complete food hygiene training can impact you, your staff, and your business. Food poisoning is only one of the consequences.

Why is food hygiene training so important?

Let’s not forget, food hygiene training exists for a reason. Without it, you are making an active choice to ignore your professional duty. As a food business owner or manager failing to provide food hygiene training, you’re sending the message (whether it’s intentional or not) to your customers and staff that you don’t care about their safety.

Food hygiene training is so important because it teaches you exactly how a hygienic, safe kitchen should be run. It ensures everybody is on the same page when it comes to keeping the premises, themselves, and all equipment clean, storing food at correct temperatures, and avoiding other potential hazards such as cross-contamination, which could trigger a severe reaction or even death in unsuspecting customers.

food hygiene training

Who should take food hygiene training?

Ideally, everyone on your team should have a food hygiene training certificate at the appropriate level. We offer a range of sector-specific food hygiene courses that can be taken entirely online in just 1 to 2 hours.

You can click here now to view more information about our instantly available Level 1 and Level 2 online food hygiene training courses.

At higher levels, staff such as managers and supervisors should be taking Level 3 food hygiene training. Because of the depth of learning involved at this level, the training must be completed in a face-to-face environment. Please click here to view more information about our face-to-face Level 3 food hygiene training course.

What can poor food hygiene cause?

So, with all this focus on good food hygiene, let’s take a look at what might happen if you don’t arrange training for your team.

Poor food hygiene is damaging to food businesses all across the country. Not only can your reputation suffer from bad reviews and lack of customers, but poor food hygiene can pose a serious public health risk, and in some cases, even death.

Below are just some of the ways in which your business could be affected by poor food hygiene…

food hygiene training

Food poisoning

One of the main and perhaps most obvious risks of poor food hygiene is food poisoning. The most worrying truth is that food poisoning can occur easily, from matters as simple as staff forgetting to clean the work surfaces or undercooking food, so you have to be extremely careful to prevent it.

Gastroenteritis is one of the more common types of food poisoning. This is often caused by unwashed hands spreading germs and contaminating food. It’s a common occurrence in holiday parks and on cruise ships, but gastroenteritis can be spread in any environment where food is served.

Another very common type of food poisoning is campylobacter poisoning. Typically, campylobacter is spread by cross-contamination of raw or undercooked poultry, such as chicken. This can occur if staff wash raw chicken under a tap, which can spread bacteria around your sink, or if staff handle raw poultry and don’t wash their hands before handling other food or equipment.

Of course, food poisoning can be extremely dangerous. In milder cases, customers may be ill for a couple of days and will suffer with nausea, vomiting, upset stomachs, weakness, aches and pains, and high temperatures. However, in severe cases, food poisoning can lead to hospitalisation or even death.

food hygiene training

Cross-contamination and allergic reactions

Many individuals suffer from allergies or intolerances to certain foods. Reactions can range in severity from mild nausea and rashes, to extreme life-threatening attacks such as anaphylactic shock. Reactions to food allergies and intolerances will often lead to long-term hospitalisation and can result in death.

Poor food hygiene increases your risk of cross-contamination in the kitchen, which is a common way an individual might suffer from an allergic reaction. Having a good level of food hygiene training will ensure all of your staff are aware of the severity of food allergies and intolerances and that everyone takes the appropriate measures to avoid cross-contamination.


Poor food hygiene and dirty environments can attract pests such as mice and rats, cockroaches, flies, birds, and other disease-carrying wildlife. This can happen particularly in areas where waste is overflowing, and dirt is left to build up. Unwashed pots and pans containing old, mouldy foodstuffs can also attract pests.

In many cases, a pest infestation will mean you have to close your business while an exterminator removes the issue. However, if word gets out about pest infestations, it can seriously harm your business’s reputation and food hygiene rating.

food hygiene training

Don’t take any chances. Arrange food hygiene training today.

When you consider that these serious and potentially life-threatening consequences are only some of the ways in which poor food hygiene can affect your business, it’s clear to see why food hygiene training for all staff is so important.

To arrange verifiable food hygiene training for yourself and/or your team today, please click here to browse our available online courses. Alternatively, get in touch with our friendly customer support team by calling us on 01327 552136 or email us at hello@smarthorizons.co.uk today.