The responsibilities of a food business operator (FBO) are varied and one of them is delivering safe food to the plates of the consumer. The simplest errors in food handling can cause someone to get a food borne illness. It is therefore important to avoid such circumstances. If such instances occur, an organization’s reputation can be compromised upon product recall. The 2015 ban on Maggi instant noodles caused pandemonium among the consumers and made them shift to other brands.
Educating food handlers is the best way to protect the consumers. Properly trained food handlers can improve food safety and reduce risks commonly associated with food borne illness. The food safety training will make the employees understand how public health and safety is closely tied with each task they do and this will make them exercise due diligence. As a result, mistakes significantly decrease, profitability is amplified, employee morale is boosted and the company’s reputation remains secure.
FSSAI recommends that all licensed food businesses must have at least one trained and certified food safety supervisor for every 25 food handlers in each premise. To implement this policy , FSSAI has designed a large scale Food Safety Training and Certification Program (FoSTaC) for food business across the value chain. The content for FoSTaC has been created to address the specific needs of each the identified groups. The training courses designed are as follows:
- Basic: It includes 5 courses of 4 to 6 hours duration over 1 or 2 days.
- Advanced: It includes 4 courses of 8 hours duration over 1 or 2 days.
- Special: It includes 6 courses of 4 hours duration on 1 day.
The list of mandatory courses applicable for licensed FBOs include:
|S No||Kind of Licensed FBO||FoSTaC Courses||Duration|
|1||Food Processing Units- Bakery||Level 3 (Special) Food Safety Supervisor Course- Bakery||12 hours/ 2 days|
|2||Food Processing Units- Vegetable oils and fats||Level 3 (Special) Food Safety Supervisor Course- Oils & Fat||12 hours/ 2 days|
|3||Food Processing Units- Packaged Water||Level 3 (Special) Food Safety Supervisor Course- Packaged Water||12 hours/ 2 days|
|4||Food Processing Units- Milk & Milk Products||Level 3 (Special) Food Safety Supervisor Course- Milk & Milk Products||12 hours/ 2 days|
|5||All food processing unit other than those in S No 1,2,3 and 4||Level 2 ( Advanced) Food Safety Supervisor Course- Manufacturing||8 Hours/ 1-2 days|
|6||Catering establishments||Level 2 ( Advanced) Food Safety Supervisor Course- Catering||8 Hours/ 1-2 days|
|7||Retailer and Distribution||Level 2 ( Advanced) Food Safety Supervisor Course- Retailer & Distribution||8 Hours/ 1-2 days|
|8||Storage and Transportation||Level 2 ( Advanced) Food Safety Supervisor Course- Storage & Transportation||8 Hours/ 1-2 days|
A good food safety training program will be at the core of a company’s food culture. The health and safety of the consumers and the employees depend on the food safety education that a company provides, so the food business operator should make this a priority no matter how busy s/he is.