Hygiene training is generally relevant for all persons who come into contact with food (production, processing, or placing on the market) or related consumer goods (e.g., dishes, kitchen machines, cooking utensils). Employees must be trained in infection control and food hygiene before they first start work and at regular intervals thereafter.
This regulation applies to all employees working in food production, food retail and wholesale, and foodservice. Moreover, this applies equally to all company employees: whether temporary or seasonal workers or the food business operator himself, all must undergo regular hygiene training. The competent authorities can demand proof of expertise at any time.
In Germany there are two mandatory training courses in particular that need to be taken into account here:
- Instruction according to § 43 Infection Protection Law – the initial instruction must be carried out by the public health department or by a physician appointed by the public health department, the follow-up instruction, on the other hand, can be carried out by the employer or by a third party; here, a 2‑year cycle of follow-up instruction must be observed (§ 43 Paragraph 4 Infection Protection Law).
- Training on food hygiene according to EU Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 – the regulations are listed in particular in Annex II Chapter XII No. 1. This training must include all hygiene areas, i.e. food, personnel, and equipment hygiene. On the federal level, this regulation is implemented in the Food Hygiene Regulation, in particular, § 4 of the Food Hygiene Regulation comes into play here. These trainings may also be carried out by an external expert.
However, the LMHV also provides exceptions for hygiene training: the obligation to train does not apply if only packaged food is weighed, measured, stamped, or placed on the market, as well as in the primary production of food.
In addition, persons who have completed scientific training or technical vocational training are also exempt from this obligation. Here it is assumed that they have already acquired sufficient expertise in the field of food handling, including food hygiene, during their education.
In addition to the food industry, other sectors should also offer hygiene training for their employees. This also includes companies from the cosmetics or pharmaceutical industry.
For cosmetics manufacturers, DIN EN ISO 22716 (cosmetics GMP) provides guidelines for the production of cosmetic products. The companies are required to introduce a hygiene concept and to train their employees accordingly in order to ensure a high level of product safety.
The EU GMP guidelines also stipulate that employees in drug production must attend regular training courses.
Furthermore, they must be instructed in the basics of GMP-relevant activities before their first use. This guarantees that consumers are not exposed to any risk of inadequate manufacturing quality at any time.
In order to ensure food safety and thus protect consumers from food-related health hazards, various regulations have been adopted at European and national level.
What is the Food Hygiene Regulation?
In Germany, the legal framework is regulated in the aforementioned Food Hygiene Regulation and the Animal Food Hygiene Ordinance. § 2 of the Food Hygiene Regulation also regulates, among other things, what constitutes a perishable food: a food that is easily perishable in a short period of time from a microbiological point of view and whose marketability can only be maintained if certain temperatures or other conditions are maintained.
According to the Food Hygiene Regulation, persons must have the following specialist knowledge in accordance with their respective activities:
- Properties and composition of the respective food
- Hygienic requirements for the production and processing of the respective foodstuff
- Legal basics of the food law
- Inspection of goods, shelf life testing and labeling
- Execution of in-house controls and traceability
- Emergency plan, crisis management
- Hygienic treatment of the respective food
- Requirements for cooling and storage of the respective food
- Correct handling of food waste, inedible by-products and other wastes
- Measures for cleaning and disinfection
The LMHV is primarily based on the following three regulations at the EU level:
- Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 – Basic Regulation; Regulation laying down the general principles and requirements of food law
- Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 – General Regulation on the hygiene of foodstuffs
- Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004 – Regulation on the hygiene of foodstuffs of animal origin
Which norms and standards must be complied with in food processing plants or similar?
In food processing companies, a whole range of standards must be complied with, each of which deals with specific areas. Among them are, for example, specific standards on communal catering, types of machinery (cutter, vegetable peeler, etc.), or even work clothing.
Some German DIN standards relating to food hygiene are listed here as examples:
- DIN 10505 – Requirements for the ventilation equipment of sales outlets open to the market or street, in which mainly unpacked food is offered for sale
- DIN 10508 – requirements for maximum temperatures for deep-frozen, frozen and chilled foodstuffs as well as minimum temperatures for foodstuffs kept hot
- DIN 10514 – is intended to facilitate the implementation of training measures in connection with Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 and the Food Hygiene Regulation.
- DIN 10516 – compliance with hygienic conditions when handling foodstuffs
In 2019, more than 500 million food establishments were inspected by the monitoring authorities of the federal states.
The complaints of the authorities were mainly due to violations of hygiene regulations, especially in the general operational hygiene as well as the existing hygiene management. Potentially contaminated foodstuffs were the result. These did not have to be explicitly proven to result in a complaint by the authorities.
The training courses can be conducted by external consultants or by appropriately trained employees of your own company.
The hygiene experts at Tentamus deal exclusively and comprehensively with their respective areas of expertise and therefore bring in-depth knowledge of the current state of the law. This means that you are always up to date with the latest ordinances and regulations, and can look forward to the next inspection with confidence.
In our hygiene training courses we primarily teach you the following contents:
- Basics of microbiology
- Getting to know the most important basic legal requirements
- Good hygiene practice based on the flow of goods (goods receipt, preparation, production, issue, distribution)
- Documents required for traceability
- Personnel hygiene
- Cleaning and disinfection
- Prevention and reaction in case of pests
- Follow-up instruction according to § 43 paragraph 4 Infection Protection Law
In Germany, the training meets the requirements of a follow-up instruction according to § 43 Infection Protection Law. After successful participation, the training participants receive a certificate that can be used as documentation.
Whether at your site, in our training rooms, or online – you can determine the training location yourself. We offer training courses tailored to the individual needs of your company.
When taking up an activity or a new area of responsibility, initial training must first take place (if no relevant expertise for the area of responsibility can be proven).
Thereafter, follow-up training must take place at regular intervals, but at least every two years. These are necessary in order to keep the personnel continuously up to date with the latest knowledge of the legal basis. In addition, regular refreshers ensure that existing knowledge is not forgotten. This is the only way to ensure seamless quality management in the long term.
The training courses can also be conducted conveniently online. The practice-oriented and cost-effective training courses are available to you at any time, regardless of location. This means that you and your employees do not have to travel to and from the training. This saves both personnel and financial resources.
The following locations from the Tentamus Group offer hygiene training: