• Overview
  • FAQs
  • Guide
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Frequently asked questions

Click on any question to be taken to the answers below.

Q1. Why is this course necessary?

In December 2014 EU law changes came into effect that change the way UK catering and food manufacturing must handle the issue of food allergens.

Specifically the changes target the identification of any of 14 named allergenic food ingredients, and state how they must be declared and communicated about to all customers or users of the foodstuffs as ingredients in their own products.

It’s therefore vital that staff, from chefs and managers to everyone communicating with customers understand their legal and professional responsibilities with regard to food allergens. This course seeks to address a fundamental lack of understanding of food allergies; how they affect sufferers, and how the issue should be handled by catering staff including those advising and serving customers, cooking and preparing the food, and those designing menus and ordering ingredients.

Q2. Who is this course for?

Two versions of this course are available; a general catering version, and a childcare version. You simply choose the appropriate version at the purchase page.

This course is specifically designed to address food allergy awareness in a professional catering or care environment. This includes staff in kitchens through to front-of-house staff and those where catering for or feeding of member of the public is part of their job.

If you are a catering worker this course will give you an understanding of your legal responsibilities, how to work with food allergens and communicate with customers and other colleagues to ensure that allergy sufferers remain safe while eating in your premises. It also includes some great First Aid advice that may save a customer’s life if something goes wrong.

If you are a Supervisor, owner or manager this course will provide you with practical advice on how to complete Ingredients Declarations correctly and legally, and covers communication with staff and customers to ensure you run a safe legally compliant catering operation with a strong Due Diligence defence position.

If you are a Childcare Professional this course has been specially enhanced to cover the issues surrounding the preparation for Food Allergies within a childcare environment and leads to the specialist  accredited award, i.e. A ‘Level 2 Award in Food Allergies Awareness (Childcare)’.

Q3. What organisations & experts are involved in this course?

This course has been designed by The Safer Food Group, leading independent providers in Food Safety training with over 60,000 learners per year in the catering, hospitality and care sectors). It is co-authored and co-presented by Helen Underwood, a clinical First Aid specialist and food allergy sufferer. (Helen is also a Paediatric First Aid Specialist and features in the Childcare version of this course).

The course is Accredited by Awarding Organisation QUALIFI. QUALIFI support in excess of 150,000 learners per year on academic and vocational training programmes and are regulated by OFQUAL, the government’s regulator of qualifications in the UK.

The Childcare version of this course is also endorsed by NDNA National Day Nurseries Association.

Q4. What does the course cover?

The course initially defines what is meant by food allergy and how this issue is affected by recent changes to food safety law in the UK, also examining common examples of food allergy and their associated symptoms. It then moves onto strategies for preventing allergenic contamination, including prerequisites (documentation and other essentials to have in place in a professional catering establishment), safe allergy-aware approaches to food production (including storage, packaging and labelling), and service and sale (including training and communication with the customer). The unit then concludes by addressing essential emergency First Aid associated with food allergy induced anaphylaxis including correct use of auto adrenalin injectors (EpiPens).

The Childcare version of this course covers the same materials but examines the issues from the context of a professional childcare environment, for example focusing on Paediatric First Aid advice.

The course includes:

  • 2.5hrs (7 chapters) original video content filmed on location
  • Full consideration of practical impact of recent December 2014 Law changes
  • Allergens; the Facts (allergies vs intolerances, Coeliac disease, hidden allergens)
  • The 14 Named Allergens (plus ingredient replacement ideas)
  • Preventing Allergenic Contamination (incl. cleaning, suppliers, cooking, & service)
  • How to write or update compliant Recipes & Ingredient panels
  • Emergency First Aid for Anaphylaxis plus the use of EpiPens

Chapter 1 - Allergens and the Law  - This chapter considers key changes in the Law that came into force in Dec 2014 affecting food sold loose or served out of home, plus associated labelling information that must be supplied with all food products. It also considers potential legal penalties and the issue of building sufficient Due Diligence defence to protect you and your business/employer in the event of a serious food allergy related incident.

Chapter 2 - Introduction to Allergens - This chapter introduces food allergens, including the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance, and symptoms of a food allergy attack. It also defines Anaphylaxis, Coeliac disease, and considers the threat of hidden allergens.

Chapter 3 - The 14 Allergens            - This chapter introduces the 14 main food allergens listed by the FSA/government as affected by the December 2014 legislation. These include ingredients such as peanuts, eggs, milk, mustard, celery and Sulphur Dioxide (Sulphites). In each case the chapter describes example foods where the allergens are commonly found in, and suggests non-allergenic replacements as alternative ingredients.

Chapter 4 - Recipe Writing & Ingredient Panels - This chapter considers the safe and appropriate recording and publishing of recipes and ingredient panels or ingredient declarations. It also offers recommendations for adapting recipes for allergy sufferers.

Chapter 5 - Preventing Allergenic Contamination – Prerequisites - This chapter considers ‘prerequisites’ (i.e. essentials) that must be in place to limit allergenic cross-contamination before any cooking or food service takes place. This includes good management systems, cleaning, and appropriate suppliers, delivery methods and food storage.

Chapter 6 - Preventing Allergenic Contamination - Service         - This chapter concludes the ‘preventing allergenic contamination’ phase of the course by considering the actual food handling processes, i.e. food preparation, cooking and service. It offers guidance on assembly of the dish, menu information, and staffing issues.

Chapter 7 - Emergency First Aid - This chapter outlines established emergency First Aid responses to food allergy incidents of varying severity, from a mild reaction to full anaphylaxis. The Childcare version focuses on Paediatric First Aid.

For more detail on course content visit syllabus page here

Q5. Are there any limitations to this course?

It is important to note that this is a Level 2 course. While it intends to provide a basic grounding in the issues of food allergens/allergies, it is not comprehensive in terms of the range of specific food allergies covered. As such anyone involved in detailed menu or allergenic ingredient system planning should seek additional assistance/expertise if in any doubt. In addition the First Aid advice is offered as emergency guidance only and is not intended to replace the need for recognised accredited First Aid in the Workplace training/Paediatric First Aid training. 

Q6. What is included in the course fee?

The course fee includes access to online video and written (text) learning materials and self-test revision questions, online exam entry plus FREE unlimited retests, support from a specialist course tutor (online/email), and tech support. Successful candidates gain a Level 2 Accredited Endorsed Award available for immediate download.

Q7. What are the key benefits of this course?

  • Legal and practical awareness and understanding of food allergens
  • Increased knowledge of (and compliance with) FSA/EHO rules
  • More likelihood 5 Star Rating in FSA Premises Hygiene Rating System
  • Improved employer’s Due Diligence defence
  • Reduced likelihood of a serious food allergy related incident affecting you/your business (which can result in large fines or even imprisonment

Q8. How does the Examination & Award work?

The average learner will complete this course within 2 - 3 hours. This course comprises a single Level 2 Unit (single credit) with guided learning hours of 6-8hrs. It consists of 7 short chapters of study with approximately 20-30minutes study per chapter. Each chapter consists of a Learn video of 10-30minutes, detailed chapter notes, and self-test questions.

The examination consists of a 30 minute online multi-choice test and assessed at Level 2. Successful candidates receive a (Level 2 Award in) Food Allergy Awareness & Planning (Catering or Childcare) from QUALIFI, a UK based OFQUAL regulated Awarding Organisation, supplied as a high resolution electronic document (PDF).  Awards are audited and verifiable with audited learner activity and learner success data kept on permanent record. The course fee includes entry for the examination including unlimited free retakes.

Q9. Is the Level 2 Accredited Certificate printed and posted to me?

No, in an effort to drive down costs and pass the saving onto our customers, we do not print and post certificates for level 2 courses. You will be able to download your certificate as a PDF document when you pass the test so that you can save it and print it when you need to. The certificate is held on the system and you can log back in and download at any time so you never have to worry about your certificate being lost or mislaid. By printing the certificate yourself we are able to maintain our unique low price point.

Q10. What support is offered?

Learners get access to a specialist tutor via the website, access to email support, a UK support centre (our head office in Burnley) plus tech support to ensure you can access the course and recover forgotten passwords (etc.). We pride ourselves on our great learner support have in excess of 1,500 5-star feedbacks, the highest for a training or learning organisation in the UK, face-to-face or online.

Q11. How can I manage groups of learners potentially across several locations?

When you buy two copies or more you automatically gain free access to our learner management system which allows you to allocate access codes, track and monitor performance and request report on learner behaviour. This is invaluable for managing multiple learners and ensures everyone receives the same consistent, flexible and comprehensive learning experience, support and content irrespective of time or location.

Q12. Which is better; face-to-face or online training?

It depends on how you define better. As a long-standing training provider we offer both face-to-face and online tuition, however, online is now far, far more popular for the following reasons:

  1. Face-to-face is expensive compared to online because there's the cost of the trainer and the room hire. This course is available as low as £10.50 in a bundle deal meaning that many companies are able to train all their staff for about the same cost of sending one person on a face-to-face course.

  2. Online courses offer flexibility because a learner may choose when they want to study. This could be in the evening, at the weekend, or when there is a slow day at work. The students make their own decision.

  3. From a business perspective there are numerous advantages to appropriately designed online training.  There is no need to arrange day long classroom training which is usually more expensive and has the extra hidden cost of additional staff cover for those attending a course. And many businesses let staff come in a few hours later or go home earlier so they can spend time studying at quiet times in the day. Again, the flexibility allows you to decide when and where the tuition takes place.

  4. Our system allows you to monitor an individual’s progress, time they have spent on the course, their percentage pass mark, which questions they answered incorrectly and the number of attempts at the test. It will also identify a learner who may be struggling and has repeatedly attempted the test but is still failing. At this stage we will usually contact the learner to see what help may be required. You can also assign codes yourself and store a copy of everyone's certificate. It’s a great system and many of our customers use it extensively to monitor compliance within their businesses.