The Food Hygiene and Safety Course is not necessarily a marine-exclusive course. However, if you are planning to work as a steward/ess or a chef on a yacht, this course is mandatory for you. In this article, we will discuss all three levels of the Food Hygiene and Safety Course in South Africa.

The Food Hygiene and Safety Course in South Africa

The most convenient part of this course is that you can finish this course remotely, within your own comfort space. These courses are affordable and can be completed within a couple of hours (except the Level 3). However, when it comes to working on yachts, online course certifications are not accepted. 

As established earlier, this course is mandatory for seagoing stewardesses and cooks. The Food and Hygiene level 2 certificate is the minimum requirement and is considered standard. The aim of this course is to establish knowledge regarding hygiene practices and food safety regarding food prep, ingredient prep, and preservation.

Let’s have a breakdown at all three levels of the Food and Hygiene Levels in South Africa.

The Food Hygiene and Safety Level 1 Certification

Level 1 is the most basic certificate, equipping candidates with the knowledge regarding food hygiene responsibilities. This training focuses on developing strong foundational knowledge of food hygiene practices and food safety laws. In the Marine industry, a level 1 certificate is not enough to be counted as a qualification. However, it will provide a strong foundation for the level 2 certification training.

What do I learn?

You learn the following in the Food Hygiene and Safety Level 1 Certification Course in South Africa.

  • Understanding the importance of food hygiene and the adversities poor hygiene practices may cause.
  • Understanding and compliance with the safety laws regarding food hygiene.
  • Knowledge related to identifying potential food hazards/issues and countermeasures to prevent them.
  • Importance of cleanliness and personal hygiene standards.
  • Knowledge regarding cross-contamination and food stocking and preservation.

The level 1 course is for those who are not directly involved with food prep and handling the food. However, if you do work in an environment where food is present, this course will prove beneficial to you. In other words, while it is not a mandatory requirement for other yacht crew, this course is useful for you.

The Food Hygiene and Safety Level 2 Certification

The Food Hygiene and Safety Level 2 Certification is highly sought amongst all yacht-going seafarers, especially stewardesses and cooks in South Africa. This certificate is suitable for seafarers coming directly in contact with food or are directly involved in the kitchen. Not to mention, this is a mandatory requirement for seagoing cooks and stewardesses on a yacht.

What do I learn?

Let us see what the level 2 certification course covers.

  • Making the candidates familiar with the principles of Food Safety Management systems and making them aware of the Food Hygiene Regulations and their responsibilities.
  • Understanding cross-contaminations and the hazards that follow. This includes identifying microbiological, physical, chemical, and allergenic hazards.
  • Understanding safe storage practices and effective stock rotations for different types of food items. Understanding terms like ‘best before’ (NOT the actual expiration date) and ‘used by’ (the actual expiration date) and being able to explain them.
  • As you are involved in actual food preparation, you are to understand the food safety and preparation process for different types of food. This includes temperature control, cooking methods, and safety around handling cooking and food.
  • Awareness and practices regarding personal hygiene, such as handwashing procedures.

There are two variations of the Food Hygiene and Safety Level 2 courses. What a yacht-going seafarer should look for is the Catering variant of the course. Another version is for the retail industry.

The Food Hygiene and Safety Level 3 Certification

Senior stewardesses and cooks will have to complete the Food Hygiene and Safety Level 3 course before they can be promoted. This certification is designed for managers and supervisors of the industry to help them understand responsibilities, which includes the basics of the HACCP Food Safety Management system.

What do I learn?

The Food Hygiene and Safety course covers the following.

  • Understanding and implementing food hygiene and safety practices through a management position.
  • Awareness regarding relevant food safety practices and regulations and compliance with local law regulations.
  • Food contamination and the related hazards, including identifying microbiological, physical, chemical, and allergenic hazards.
  • Correct procedures for procuring provisions, stock rotations, food preservations, and food prep to ensure hygiene and food safety standards are 5-star all the time.
  • Hygiene of food prep premises such as kitchen or storage room to keep up with high standards of food safety and reduce the risk of contamination.
  • Scheduling for waste management and pest control. Includes understanding and awareness regarding these hygiene practices.
  • Understanding the basics of implementing the HACCP Food Management system and implementing the best possible solutions to keep up with the standards.
  • Embracing the role of supervision to ensure smooth operations and harmony amongst your staff. This includes instructing or training your staff wherever necessary.

This course is not necessary for entry-level seagoing stewardesses or cooks. However, it is a mandatory requirement for a senior management-level position in the said industry.

The Final Words

The Food Safety and Hygiene Level 2 certification is the minimum mandatory requirement in South Africa for yacht-going stewardesses and cooks. The superyacht industry does not consider online certifications to be valid. So, make sure you join an in-class Food Hygiene and Safety course.

Apart from Food Safety and Hygiene, a Stewardess in South Africa has to fulfil other basic requirements as well. For more information, feel free to give us a call anytime.

The Food Hygiene and Safety Course in South Africa