For food & beverage operators, poor hygiene and food handling practices can lead to mass food poisoning, and in extreme circumstances, even tragic deaths.
There can be no compromise on proper food hygiene practices:
- Don’t mix raw and cooked food,
- Wash all utensils and cutlery before use,
- Use different chopping boards for different food types,
- Don’t leave food out for more than 4 hours,
- Store food properly, at the right temperature…
But most fundamental of all:
“Serving hygienic food begins with a clean pair of hands”
Ready to test your food hygiene knowledge?
Challenge yourself to a Nano Learning Quiz built on ArcLab: https://b.arclab.io/fdhygiene
How did you do on the quiz? Let’s come back to that later.
Proper Food Hygiene
Whichever country we are in, all licensed food & beverage operators should adhere to proper practices, guidelines and regulations.
For example, Singapore Food Agency (regulator of Singapore’s food retail industry) lists its Dos & Don’ts:
It’s a hefty list of guidelines, which all licensed food operators will need to train their staff to adhere to. Therein lies challenges:
- How do they ensure the training is delivered effectively?
- How do they target follow-ups to those who don’t understand?
- Do they even know who “gets it”, and who doesn’t?
Training Staff on Food Hygiene
Let’s consider one possible approach of “delivering the training”:
F&B Operator sends the NEA weblink above to employees in its internal Whatsapp chat group, with the message
“Pls ensure compliance”
More likely than not, the message is quickly glanced at, and the “learning moment” may or may not happen.
A more effective approach would be to conduct face-to-face training sessions, outlining the practices that we want staff handling food in the kitchen to be familiar with, and to adhere to.
The training would ideally be a combination of theory and practical, with the participants put through the paces and assessed according to the required standards midway and at the end.
During the face-to-face sessions, the trainer is available to answer questions and clarify doubts of learners, and correct mistakes on the spot.
The approach above can be further improved further by the deployment of technology to create a blended learning approach for learners. This achieves a few objectives:
- Staff have greater personal engagement and interaction with the learning content
- Staff have access to an online repository of learning content (in different languages if necessary) – anytime, anywhere.
- The Organisation can build in assessment modules into the online learning, to test the staff’s understanding.
- The Organisation now has available the data of staff’s learning that they can use to plug learning gaps and arrange for follow-ups.
The end-result is a better-trained workforce, who know the dos and don’ts of proper food hygiene and can then prepare delicious, healthy and safe food that can be enjoyed by customers.
Unfortunately, the food poisoning tragedy at Singapore restaurant Spize is not unique. It’s one of several food hygiene-related incidents in the past few years.
These repeated occurrences cement the need for effective staff training, and making sure that effective food hygiene practices are put into practice.
The module you tested yourself with above, is just what a technology-enabled training module on food hygiene and safety could look like:
We created this with ArcLab Pro, our Nano Learning platform for anyone to easily create, deliver and track effective training.
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