Food Safety Practices Guidance for Moulded Chocolate Manufacturers
Chapter 5: Personnel

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5.1 Hygiene and Health Requirements

5.1.1 Cleanliness and Conduct

All persons entering food handling areas maintain an appropriate degree of personal cleanliness and take the appropriate precautions to prevent the contamination of food.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • All persons wash and sanitize their hands upon entering food handling areas, before starting work, after handling contaminated materials (e.g. picking objects off the floor, handling garbage, cleaning chemicals or raw incoming materials), after breaks, after using toilet facilities or after blowing their nose and whenever there is a risk of contamination of the products. Fingernails are kept clean without nail polish.
  • Disposable gloves are changed whenever contamination is a possibility.
  • Protective clothing, hair and/or beard covering, footwear and/or gloves appropriate to the operation in which the employee is engaged, are worn and maintained in clean and sanitary manner.
  • Any behaviour which could result in contamination of food, such as eating, drinking, use of tobacco, gum chewing or unhygienic practices such as spitting, are prohibited in food handling areas.
  • All persons entering food handling areas remove jewellery and other objects which may fall into or otherwise contaminate food. Jewellery which cannot be removed, including wedding bands and medical alerts, is covered (e.g. employees wear rubber gloves).
  • For maintenance work in the production areas, strict hygiene standards and precautions are applied to avoid any possible source of contamination.
  • Access of personnel and visitors is controlled to prevent contamination. The traffic pattern of employees prevents cross-contamination of the product (For example, the employees avoid going back and forth to various stages of production. The employees do not go from a potentially contaminated area to the processing and/or packaging area unless they have washed their hands and changed to clean protective clothing.).
  • Personal effects and street clothing are not kept in food handling areas and are stored in a manner to prevent contamination. Only clean protective clothing is worn in packaging and processing areas.
  • Responsibility for ensuring compliance by all personnel with the requirements of this section is specifically allocated to competent supervisory personnel.

5.1.2 Communicable Diseases and Injuries

No person who is known to be infected with a disease likely to be transmitted through food, or who has open cuts or wounds, is permitted to work in food handling areas where there is a likelihood of the person directly or indirectly contaminating the food.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • The manufacturer has and enforces a policy, to prevent personnel from working in food handling areas if they are known to be suffering from a disease, or are known to be carriers of a disease transmissible through food.
  • The manufacturer requires that employees advise management when they are suffering from a communicable disease likely to be transmitted through food. Conditions that are to be reported include:
    • jaundice;
    • diarrhoea;
    • vomiting;
    • fever;
    • sore throat with fever; and
    • discharges from the ear, eye or nose.
  • Employees having open cuts or wounds do not handle food or food contact surfaces unless the injury is completely protected by a secure waterproof covering (e.g. rubber gloves).

5.2 Training

5.2.1 General Food Hygiene Training

Food handlers are trained in personal hygiene and hygienic handling of food, and they understand the precautions necessary to prevent contamination of chocolate.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • The manufacturer has a written training program for employees, and maintains appropriate records.
  • Appropriate training in personal hygiene and hygienic handling of food is provided to all food handlers at the beginning of their employment.
  • Training is reinforced and updated at appropriate intervals, and whenever the employee's duties change.

5.2.2 Technical Training

To ensure food safety, personnel are trained such that they have adequate technical knowledge and understanding of the operation(s) or process(es) for which they are responsible.

Anticipated Outcomes

Training is appropriate to the complexity of the manufacturing process and the tasks assigned. Examples are listed below. The manufacturer has a written training program for employees, and maintains appropriate records.

  • Personnel are trained to understand the importance of the critical factors for which they are responsible; the critical limits and/or company standards; the procedures for monitoring; the action to be taken if the limits and/or standards are not met; and the records to be kept.
  • Managers and supervisors for chocolate manufacturing have the necessary knowledge of food hygiene principles and practices to be able to judge potential risks in order to take the appropriate action necessary to remedy deficiencies.
  • All employees, including maintenance and customer services employees, are trained to implement allergen controls.
  • Operators are trained to have current knowledge of equipment and process technology.
  • Personnel responsible for the maintenance and calibration of equipment impacting on food safety have been appropriately trained to identify deficiencies that could affect product safety, and to take the appropriate corrective action (e.g. in-house repairs, contract repairs). Individuals performing maintenance on specific equipment are appropriately trained.
  • Personnel and supervisors responsible for the sanitation program are appropriately trained to understand the principles and methods required for effective cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Personnel and supervisors responsible for water treatment and water safety monitoring are appropriately trained to understand the principles and methods and are competent in applying procedures designed to protect the safety of food.
  • Personnel who handle potentially hazardous chemicals are instructed in safe handling and disposal techniques.
  • Additional training is provided as necessary to keep knowledge of equipment and processing technology current.
  • Periodic assessments of the effectiveness of training and instruction programs are made as well as routine supervision and checks to ensure that procedures are being carried out effectively.
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