A level 2 food hygiene course can take around 3 to 4 hours, depending on the course of choice. This is the range for most online, eLearning courses.
However, people learn at different rates, and there is no time limit to compete a full course. In addition, if you fail a course, you may need to re-take the test, which will take additional time.
It will take more time to complete than a level 1 course, as that includes very basic food safety rules and practices. However, this is basic food handling training, so it will take less time than a more complicated level 3 course. Level 3 courses train managers who supervise food handlers. As a result, food hygiene level 3 training courses generally have more content, as managers have more responsibilities. As such, they have to learn about a few food safety laws, in addition to microbiology.
At the end of a training course, a food handler can expect to receive a level 2 food hygiene certificate after an examination. This can be used to form a hospitality organisation or find a job in the sector.
How You Spend Your Time Doing a Level 2 Course
You will spend your time in a food hygiene level 2 course looking at a few key areas of food safety. These include:
- Microbiology: What is it, and the hazards associated with it
- Food storage
- Design of food premises, and cleaning schedules
- Cross contamination
- Safe food preparation
- Food safety laws
You will spend a lot of the time on microbiology and the general food safety practices like cleaning. This is because they are most important. Knowing how to properly clean surfaces and store food is vital to prevent cross contamination.
Another vital part is food preparation and general personal hygiene. Courses will focus on this, as it is so easy to transmit germs onto food. Simple things like making sure equipment is clean, washing food and using different knives for meat are important things, but people don’t necessarily remember to do them.
Courses also focus on laws and regulations that govern food safety. Examples like HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) are vital to prioritise food hygiene risks and effectively control them. This EU regulation ensures that businesses conduct hazard analyses and log them in a logical way. This means the business can direct more resources towards the most threatening food dangers.
Why a Level 2 Food Hygiene Course is Important
Gaining a food hygiene level 2 certificate is very important for personal careers and making sure that organisations comply with the UK laws.
Because level 2 courses are relatively cheap, it is a good investment into an early career in hospitality. Gaining a certificate means you are eligible to work in a range of organisations, including hotels, restaurants and cafes.
In addition, if you are an organisation involved in hospitality, you are legally required to complete this course if you have food handlers. Food handlers are people “who directly touch open food as part of their work”. Under the European Regulation (EC) number 852/2014, food handlers must be sufficiently trained. This is because there is a huge public health risk if they are not. If organisations fail to comply with the rules, then the EU can impose large even unlimited fines.
Be sure to look for online courses with accreditation from reliable bodies. For example, look for courses with IOSH (the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) certification. For organisations, level 2 training courses are cheap. As such, there is no reason why a business in hospitality shouldn’t get employees to complete one.