Probe into food safety qualifications in Wales

Thursday 23 May 2019

Food safety qualifications in Wales have been put under the microscope during a monitoring exercise by regulator Qualifications Wales. 

The probe concluded that qualifications offered in food safety are effective – welcome news for UK consumers who eat out on average twice a week. 

“More than 14,000 food safety certificates were awarded in Wales during 2017, making it one of the most important sectors in the country,” said Director of Regulation Jo Richards. 

Britons eat out on average twice a week, according to a survey by OpenTable, while research published by Kantar Worldpanel showed that Britons spent £49 billion on food and drink consumed outside the home in 2017. 

Meanwhile a BBC Good Food Nation Survey found that most people ate fast food on average on two days per week, with that rising to twice a day for one in six young people. 

Qualifications Wales focused its attention on two key qualifications in food safety in catering, monitoring them across a year-long period. 

“I’m pleased that our monitoring of food safety qualifications found that they meet the needs of learners in Wales,” said Jo Richards. 

“It’s also good news that following our initial meetings with the awarding bodies who offer these qualifications to share key findings of our report, they’ve decided to keep talking through a new forum. 

“They will use the forum to discuss food safety qualifications and share best practice. We hope the ongoing sharing of ideas and information will help keep food safety qualifications effective both now and in the future.”  

While the monitoring exercise did throw up some shortcomings across the nine awarding bodies, action plans were prepared, and solutions found. 

“All the awarding bodies responded positively to the findings of our monitoring,” said Jo Richards. “Many of the identified actions have already been completed, while others are on track to be completed soon. 

“But our overall conclusion is that these food safety qualifications are valid, reliable and meet the reasonable needs of learners in Wales.