The Essential Food Safety & Hygiene Skills (Level 1) e-Learning Course is designed for General Food Workers in Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Catering Establishments and Food Retail Outlets. All food businesses and establishments are required to comply with key Food Safety Legislation.

  • European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2006
    • (S.I No 369 of 2006) (Amended by S.I. No 380 0f 2009)
  • European Communities (General Food Law) Regulations 2007
    • (S.I No 747 of 2007)

This overview will provide you with the necessary background information under each of the following headings; Hygiene, Traceability, Training, Food Waste, Certification


The first set of regulations on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs obliges operators of food businesses to comply with EU Regulation 852/2004. This outlines the food hygiene and safety requirements for all food businesses. Part of the general hygiene requirements is the facility and ability to maintain foods at the correct temperature during the different stages of the production process and to be able to monitor those temperatures. The level of detail in temperature monitoring will depend on the type and scope of the food preparation activities being performed.


The second set of regulations on General Food Law obliges operators of food business to comply with EU Regulation 178/2002. This requires that food business operators have in place a system and procedures for tracing food used in the food business and to be able to provide that information to the Environmental Health Officer (EHO). Food workers need to be able to trace the food served to customers back to the suppliers of the products. This means keeping a records of the foods purchased including

  • Supplier name and address
  • Delivery/purchase dates
  • Food type

Food Safety Training

General Food Workers imageIt is a legal requirement that all employees involved in the preparation of food are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity. The responsibility for the supervision and training of staff lies with the management of the food business.

The design, structure and content of the National Hygiene Partnership’s Essential Food Safety& Hygiene Skills (Level 1) eLearning course is based on the Guide to Food Safety Training – Level 1 published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland

What Is The Purpose Of This Guide?

This guide describes the standard of food safety training required of all food workers within the Food Service or Food Retail Sectors. It provides information on what employees should be able to do with regard to food safety depending on:

  • their level of responsibility
  • whether they work in a high or low-risk area
  • the length of time they have been working in the sector

To Whom Does This Guide Apply?

All food handlers and non-food handlers who work in the food service or retail sectors whether they are full time or part time members of staff, seasonal or occasional workers or voluntary staff members

Level 1 (Induction)

This level is split into two stages
Stage I outlines what all employees must be able to demonstrate before they start handling food in a Hotel, Restaurant, Bar, Catering Operation or Food Retail Outlet.

Level 1, Stage I – Food Safety Skills Summary

Stage I describes the food safety skills required of staff before they handle food in Food Service or Food Retail Outlets. Even though the staff may have had training at this stage, they will require supervision to ensure that they are demonstrating good food safety practices.

The following is a list of the nine food safety skills that Food Workers should be able to demonstrate before starting to work in a Hotel, Restaurant, Bar Catering Operation or Food Retail Outlets.

  1. Wear and maintain uniform/protective clothing hygienically
  2. Maintain a high standard of hand-washing
  3. Maintain a high standard of personal hygiene
  4. Demonstrate correct hygiene practice if suffering from ailments/ illnesses that may affect the safety of food
  5. Avoid unhygienic practices in a food operation
  6. Demonstrate safe food handling practice
  7. Maintain staff facilities in a hygienic condition
  8. Obey food safety signs
  9. Keep work areas clean

Level 1, Stage II – Food Safety Skills Summary

Having been trained to Stage I before starting work, Stage II provides information on what your employees need to know after they have been working in your Food Retail outlet for a month. Even though your staff will have had training at this stage they will require supervision to ensure that they are
demonstrating good food safety practices

The following is a list of the 11 food safety skills to be demonstrated by Food Service and Food Retail Sector employees at this stage:

  1. Demonstrate their legal responsibility in ensuring safe food for the guests, customers, staff and other consumers
  2. Recognise how food can be put at risk by chemical, physical and biological hazards
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of cross contamination and the hygiene practice necessary to prevent it
  4. Explain the difference between high and low-risk activities
  5. Avoid unnecessary handling of food, food utensils and surfaces
  6. Where applicable to the job, record the temperature of food as required
  7. Keep appropriate food safety records
  8. Keep pests out of the food operation and operate a satisfactory waste disposal system
  9. Take action when aware of unhygienic practices that may put the safety of food at risk
  10. Co-operate with authorised enforcement officers
  11. Where applicable to the job, check deliveries appropriately

The eLearning course will enable the learner to gain a comprehensive understanding of the hygiene conditions and practices which must be strictly adhered to during each stage of the food production process. The application of these key principles will play a critical role in ensuring the provision of safe food for the consumer. The learner will also be introduced to a range of templates designed by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland to aid the process of recording and maintaining the food safety records that must be available for inspection by the Environmental Health Officer during the annual monitoring visit. The learner will also acquire the required knowledge and competency to complete and maintain the required food safety and traceability records on an on-going basis.

Download FSAI Level 1 – Induction Food Safety Training Skills

A Certificate of Completion may be downloaded upon completion of the Essential Food Safety & Hygiene Skills (Level 1) course. This will serve as a record that the learner has successfully completed a training course based on the requirements contained in the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Guide to Food Safety Training Level 1, Stage I and Stage II

The Food Waste Regulations

These regulations apply to any food business producing more than 50kg of food waste per week. Enforcement officers from the local county or city council are entitled to enter the premises and check that the Food Retail Outlets are complying with the legislation.

The local authority may also require the Food Retail Outlet to produce an implementation report or annual report detailing how it is managing its food waste. This report should provide information on the type, origin and amount of food waste generated, the management arrangements and destination of food waste, the quantity sent for re-cycling, the measures adopted to reduce food waste over the year.

The Relationship between the Food Waste Regulations and the Food Safety & Hygiene Regulations, Standards and Guidelines

While the Food Waste Regulations and the Food Hygiene Regulations are two distinct entities, it should be pointed out that the food waste regulations do not conflict in any way with the food safety and hygiene regulations, standards and guidelines outlined in the Essential Food Safety Skills eLearning course.

Course Cost: €40.00 (Inc. VAT @23%)

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Course cost includes VAT @23%, online enrolment and support services

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General Food Workers rimage

Course Features

  • Available on-line only
  • Must be completed within six weeks from on-line enrolment.
  • Contains audio, visual and interactive features.
  • Structured in modular format and contains six different learning units.
  • Each learning unit has clearly defined learning objectives and incorporates a range of multiple choice questions to test and reinforce the learning
  • Designed to be absorbed in short sessions of approximately one hour or less
  • May be accessed 24 hours per day
  • Should not take longer than 9 hours to complete all course modules
  • The learner must complete each learning unit and provide the correct answer to the associated questions before progressing to the next learning unit.
  • The learning units must be followed in sequential order


  • A record of training in the form of a certificate may be downloaded upon satisfactory completion of the course.

Sign Up Features

  • Secure password access for course
  • Password will be issued upon payment of the course fee
  • Secured credit or debit card payments accepted on-line
  • On-line registration/enrolment process
  • If the six week timeframe allowed to complete the course is exceeded access to the course will expire and payment of the full course fee and re-enrolment will be required in order to complete the course.

System Requirements

  • Web Browser: The eLearning courses should work in any modern web browser, however it will work in Internet Explorer 7+, Firefox 3.6+ and Google Chrome 5+. Your browser should also have both cookies and javascript enabled. These are typically enabled by default.
  • Adobe Reader 9+ for reading PDF Files
  • Adobe Flash Player 10+ for playing video files
  • Both Adobe applications listed above can be downloaded for free from
The National Hygiene Partnership is the trading name for a Partnership of Government Agencies and Industry Representatives Bodies which was established for the purpose of developing , promoting and coordinating a range of food safety training initiatives for the Irish Food Sectors. The NHP is registered for VAT in Ireland, Registration number 9535893H and the business address is Abbey Court, Block B. Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1.