The Various Types of Food Safety Training

Sep 15, 2023

Various Types of Food Safety Training cover photo

We’re continuing the Food Safety Education conversation for National Food Safety Education Month (NFSEM) by discussing the different types of Food Safety Training available to the food and beverage industry. There are many different food safety training courses available, which can be overwhelming and make it tricky to determine what course would best suit the needs of you or your team.
Some training is accredited and recognized in the industry, some is not accredited but has value in creating a food safe environment and culture within an organization. Some are short courses, and some are full days to several days. Some deal directly with food safety, while others deal indirectly with food safety. No matter the training, they all have value in helping create a culture of food safety. You just need to determine which one best suits your current and future needs.

Prerequisite Programs

Prerequisite Programs (PRP) are a valuable asset to any food company and training on PRPs is essential to their effective implementation. Prerequisite Programs are the supporting programs that make up the foundation of your Food Safety Plans. They create the basic environment and mindset of proper and effective food safety practices for the safe production, handling, and storage of food. PRPs are a great place to start training. They lay the groundwork for more in-depth and robust training programs.

These training courses can be great introductory classes for those just entering the food manufacturing sector, but they can also be great refresher training for seasoned personnel or those looking to update their training. PRPs classes are versatile, ranging in duration from 1-hour to a full 8-hour day and varying in depth.

PRPs and Support Programs include but are not limited to:

The Various Types of Food Safety Training 1

Accredited Food Safety Training

HACCP Systems

What is it?

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards. HACCP Systems are used and recognized by industry and regulators around the globe as an effective method for identifying food safety hazards and implementing appropriate controls to ensure the safety of foods introduced into the supply chain.

HACCP training accredited by the International HACCP Alliance (IHA) is taught by a HACCP Lead Instructor and includes a presentation of the HACCP System Curriculum. Through HACCP training you will gain an understanding of HACCP principles and methods and be able to develop, implement, and maintain a HACCP Plan for your operations.

Who’s it for?

HACCP is for anyone looking to develop a working knowledge of HACCP and its implementation and maintenance, as well as for those people looking to update their training. If you work in or with companies that manufacture, handle, and distribute food or food packaging, HACCP is the right course for you.

FSMA: FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCQI)

What is it?

The Food Safety Modernization (FSMA) went into effect on January 26, 2016, and requires that facilities registered under section 415 of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act have and implement a written Food Safety Plan. This food safety plan must include Hazard Analysis, Preventive Controls, Oversight/Management of Preventive Controls, a Supply Chain Program, and Recall Plan. The FSPCA curriculum incorporates and builds upon HACCP principles in more detail.

The Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (21 CFR, Part 117) requires that certain activities must be completed by a “preventive controls qualified individual (PCQI)”. The regulation is intended to ensure the safe manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding of human food in the United States.

Through FSPCA training you will gain an understanding of Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (21 CFR Part 117) & be able to develop, implement, and maintain a Food Safety Plan for your operations.

Who’s it for? This training is for anyone looking to become a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) or wanting to develop a working knowledge of Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (21 CFR, Part 117) and its implementation and maintenance, as well as for those people looking to update their training.

GFSI: SQF

What is it?

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is recognized around the globe as a comprehensive, sound food safety and quality management scheme. The SQF Food Safety Code is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and aligns with industry, customer, and regulatory requirements.

SQF training is intended to pull the many aspects of various food safety programs (HACCP plans, regulations, pre-requisites, etc.) together into a robust Food Safety Management System (FSMS) that can be recognized, certified, and trusted around the globe. Training to GFSI benchmarked standards helps teach your employees how to create effective FSMS and produce, manufacture, hold, and distribute safe food.

Not all SQF training courses are accredited by the SQF Institute but should use the SQF Food Safety Code as the basis for the curriculum and should be taught by an SQF Registered professional regardless of accreditation. For example, at FSQC we are not an accredited SQF training center, but our training covers the entirety of the SQF Food Safety Code (Manufacturing or Packaging), is taught by a Registered SQF Auditor and Consultant, and prepares the student to take the SQF Systems Examination administered separately by the SQF Institute.

​Through SQF training, you will gain the knowledge necessary to develop, implement, and maintain an SQF System, function as an SQF Practitioner, and bring your food safety management scheme up to the GFSI benchmarked requirements.

Who’s it for?

SQF training is designed for anyone looking to develop a working knowledge of the SQF Code and its implementation and maintenance, function as an SQF Practitioner, or update their training. SQF is not the only GFSI recognized food safety scheme but tends to be the more commonly used standard in the U.S. GFSI recognizes many other programs such as BRC, FSSC 22000, ISF, and PrimusGFS, which also have training programs available.

Conclusion

Finding and choosing the right training for you or your organization is important. You can never be trained too well. Each type of training we have outlined in this article plays an important role in fostering a food safe environment. From small courses, like our 2-Hour short course on Root Cause Analysis & Corrective Action, to multi-day accredited classes, such as FSPCA Preventive Controls, there is something to be learned in each one.

The key to successful training is to have a willingness to learn. No matter what training class you choose, there is always something you can learn from it if you are willing. Demonstrate a willingness to learn by applying yourself in the class – listen diligently, take thorough notes, ask questions, join in on discussions, and concentrate on quizzes and exercises. You can always leave with some new knowledge and a better understanding of safe food production if you are willing and ready to put in the work.

Interested in Food Safety Training?

Think your personnel could benefit from food safety training? Sign-up for one of our upcoming classes!

Still not sure which training is best for you and your organization? Contact us and we’ll help you determine which training will be the most beneficial for you or your team!

Don’t have a training program in place? Let us know, and we’ll help you create a robust and effective food safety training program that works for your team!

Keep an eye out for our final National Food Safety Education Month article coming out September 29!

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