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Food Hygiene Advice for Businesses

Food Hygiene Advice for Businesses

Food Handlers Fitness to Work

There are many ways in which food can become contaminated with food poisoning organisms. One way is from contact with a food handler who is unwell or even one who is well, but is a carrier of the organism.

There is a legal duty on food businesses not to allow persons known or suspected to be suffering from, or being a carrier of, a disease which can be transmitted by food to work in any food handling area if they are likely to contaminate food.

Employers should provide a pre-employment questionnaire which employees should complete and sign before being allowed to handle open food. The questionnaire should cover:

  • if they have suffered diarrhoea or vomiting in the last 7 days
  • skin trouble or boils affecting hands, arm or face;
  • discharge from eyes, ears, gums or mouth
  • boils, styes or septic fingers
  • recurring skin or ear trouble
  • recurring bowel disorder
  • contact with anyone in last 21 days who may have been suffering typhoid or paratyphoid.

If any question answered is yes, medical advice should be sought before employing that person. Employers must also ensure employees are aware of the need to report illnesses such as diarrhoea or vomiting.

Food handlers could be given alternative work if otherwise fit, providing they present no risk of food contamination. They should remain off food handling duties for at least 48 hours after symptoms have ceased.

Medical advice should always be sought for any illness.

Food Hygiene Training

All food handlers must be supervised, instructed and/or trained in food hygiene commensurate with their work. It is a legal requirement for any person responsible for developing and maintaining a Food Safety Management System (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System (HACCP)) to also receive training in the principles of HACCP. Further information on HACCP courses is available from REHIS.

As a general rule, any food handler who prepares, cooks or handles open food including raw foods and high risk foods (eg cooked foods and ready to eat foods) should be trained to a level equivalent to the Elementary Food Hygiene Course operated by the Royal Environmental Health Institute of ScotlandREHIS). There are many providers of suitable courses and information can be found either on the web or in the phone book.

"The REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene course is provided by a number of training companies throughout the Central Region. The following is a list of trainers operating within the central area of Scotland. This list is not a recommendation of any company. A full list of training companies is available from the REHIS website "" or Contact REHIS, 19 Torphican Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8HX, Tel 0131 229 2968.

REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene Course providers:-

A1 Training Services, 96 Park Wynding, Erskine, PA8 7AT, Website:, Tel 07807673144
ACE Training, Email:, Tel 01698 320065
Alastair Crockett Training, Tel 01334 654046
Allergy and Hygiene Solutions Ltd, Graeme Kerr, Email:, Tel 07770896929
Ashcom International Ltd, Corrine Marron, Email:, Tel 01506 798396
Blueprint Training, Mary Watson, 349 Bath St, Glasgow, Email:, Tel 0141 225 3848
Emcare, Atlantic House, 45 Hope St, Glasgow, G2 6AE, Website:, Tel 0141 404 0075
Carnegie College, Halbeath Rd, Dunfermline, Kim Wishart, Email:, Tel 01383 845000
Catersafe Food Hygiene, Annmarie Scott, Tel 0141 649 2446
Falkirk Council Development Services, Lynn Bissett, Email:, Tel, 01324 504982
Forth Valley College of Further & Higher Education, Tel 01324 403000
Forth Valley Facilities, Email:, 01786 434042
Liz Pettirew Training, Tel 01383 727137
LMIB The Sunlite Cafe, Email:, Tel 01786 475459
Lorraine Holton, Tel 01506 437053
LR Quality Training, Linda Reilly, Email:, Tel 07977 267543
2 Sisters Food Group, Email:, Tel 0141 646 1001

For Further Information Contact

Environmental Health
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000