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CONSUMER

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 10:15 AM

Hi all ,

Just a little query someone may be able to help me on.

I am quite far on with my pursuit of the new standard, however I am also now at the difficult bit.
That is, trying to instill a culture of hygiene awareness in an organisation were such issues have always been seen as unimportant.

My query is basically to do with hygiene training.

Do employees have to follow a formal course which can be made to suit the establishment or do they have to do a recognised basic food and hygiene certificate, of which many of the topics are not relevent to a print and packaging company?

I look forward to some postive words of wisdom
Thanks Aisling



Simon

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 01:47 PM

Hi Aisling,
I hope you are well.

You asked:
Do employees have to follow a formal course which can be made to suit the establishment or do they have to do a recognised basic food and hygiene certificate, of which many of the topics are not relevant to a print and packaging company?

The short answer: "its up to you" - the slightly longer answer:

After studying the standard in great detail whilst working on certification - it's unfortunate but not surprising that you are still perplexed and have to ask for clarification on the requirements for training. I can't give you a definitive answer (I don't have one) but I'll do my best to help.

You are right this is the difficult bit - you can have all the procedures you can "shake a stick at" but if the people aren't committed to using them they are next to worthless. The culture is the most difficult "thing" to change and takes a long time - It would be great if you could say, "starting Monday morning we are going to have a hygiene culture", but obviously you can't. All you can do over time is keep chipping away in lots of different ways and this includes training, communication, auditing and discipline to raise both "awareness" and "understanding".

With regard to employee training:

1. Whether category A or B, the standard says (7.8.1) you must have induction training covering the company hygiene rules before commencing work - this can be fairly basic e.g. a hygiene code of practice and this would normally be developed in-house.

2. In addition for both category A and B, refresher hygiene training is required (7.8.3), it is good practice to base refresher hygiene training content on internal / external audit result trends i.e. the things that you continually do badly or haven't yet become part of the culture. Also you may do proactive refresher training e.g.

Try to develop a partnership with a customer who will let you take groups of employees around their factory to see your products being used. If this is not possible ask them if you can video or photograph the process and then run in-house training sessions. I have found it to be a very useful method for facilitating understanding.

3. For Category B suppliers 7.8.2 is where it gets a bit confusing. My understanding is that 'formal basic hygiene training' means something a little more than being handed a hygiene code of practice or a sheet of rules. Formal basic hygiene training then would probably consist of some off and on the job hygiene training covering the general company hygiene rules, as well as the specific hazards and control measures associated with the employees job. It could also include why hygiene is important to the company and customers, the importance of personal hygiene and an overview of The BRC/IoP Packaging Standard etc.

The 2nd part of 7.8.2 "where appropriate further in-depth training within one month of joining the company" I take to mean something like certificated training as stated in the recommendations for good practice, and this is where your justified concern comes in regarding relevance.

I have had employees trained in the past to Basic Food Hygiene and Food Hygiene Options Certificate and although both are fine for food handlers, they are not designed for food packaging and turn employees off. There are not many courses available specifically for packaging.

I believe that if you have the skills in-house you should try to develop you own training to satisfy this requirement. Why not take a trip to the supermarket and buy a variety of the products that your packaging is used in conjunction with. Take digital photographs of your products and the food in compromising positions with various contaminants e.g. blades, glass, wood, grease, oil, chemicals, dirt, insects, dust, tape etc. Next for each photograph explain what the particular contaminant is, the effect it can have on the customer / consumer and the control measures that your company has in place to prevent it.

The standard isn't specific on what training to buy, so as long as you provide appropriate hygiene training you can be as creative as you like. Its also much more fun and more likely to generate awareness and understanding of hygiene and facilitate a culture change in your organisation than say learning about "the safe temperature of a fridge" or "keeping raw and cooked foods separate".

Apologies for rambling on Aisling but this was one of the reasons for the site in the first place. If anyone is interested in receiving a complimentary copy of the Food Packaging Hygiene Training Booklet for evaluation (a draft is very nearly ready) please call 0161 287 9880 or email info@saferpak.com with your name and address.


Regards,
Simon


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CONSUMER

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Posted 11 March 2003 - 04:36 PM

Hi Simon,
Thank you again for your help with clarifcaiton on hygiene training.

I have decided to go it alone since many of the employees here (not all) seem have some basic hygiene training.

I have also talked to quite a few hygiene training providers here in Belfast, and they have proposed putting together something similar to what I have set up already!

I have also produced a questionnaire which will be used to verfiy that employees understand the issues illustrated to the training.

This will then be recorded on their 'hygiene training record' which will be held by the personnel department.

If anyone would like to see or use the questionnaire or the hygiene training record just let me know!

I am also very interested in using your booklet as part of the induction process
we will be looking for 100+ if that is possible.
Please let me know when you will have a copy for us.
Thanks again Simon
Aisling



Simon

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Posted 11 March 2003 - 08:13 PM

Yes - go for it Aisling.

I think the questionnaire is a very good idea it will help to establish understanding. Funny you should ask about the booklet its going to print later this week so will be available for despatch sometime next week. I will send you an evaluation copy ASAP.

Right that's quite enough of the advertising - please forgive me.

Regards,
Simon


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