Information for Food Handlers

Information for Food Handlers

A food handler is any person who handles and prepares food and beverages in food establishments licensed by Singapore Food Agency (SFA). Chefs, sous chefs, cooks, kitchen assistants, food stall assistants, and food manufacturing workers are considered food handlers as they are primarily involved in food manufacturing and preparation. Food manufacturing and preparation may involve activities such as culturing, canning, deboning, cutting, defrosting, cooking, packing of food in raw or cooked form, among others.

Managers (e.g. restaurant manager, operations manager, food manufacturing factory manager, quality assurance/control manager), captains, waiters, cashiers, dishwashers, cleaners, logistics staff, maintenance staff, technologists (e.g. food technologist, laboratory technologist, quality assurance/control technologist) and other service staff are generally not considered food handlers as they are not directly involved in food manufacturing and preparation. They will be considered as food handlers only if they are also involved in the handling and preparation of food and beverages. 

Registration of food handlers

Food handlers working in SFA-licensed food establishments must be registered with SFA. Licensees can log in to GoBusiness Licensing website via CorpPass (if licence is under company) or SingPass (if licence is under individual name), search for the Licence > Action > Amend, to update details of food handlers.

WSQ Food Safety Course Level 1

The Food and Beverage Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) system was launched on 12 July 2006 by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), formerly known as the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), as the national qualifications system for the F&B industry.

SFA, together with SSG, have harmonised the training curriculum and assessment across retail and non-retail food businesses, in alignment with the refreshed SSG Skills Framework (SFw) for Food Services. With effect from 30 November 2020, the Basic Food Hygiene Course has been renamed as the WSQ Food Safety Course Level 1.

With effect from 1 January 2023, food handlers from both retail and non-retail food businesses would be required to pass WSQ Food Safety Course Level 1. To meet this requirement, food handlers can choose any one of the three training options available, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Training options to meet WSQ Food Safety Course Level 1 training requirement

Training Option

Duration

WSQ Food Safety Course Level 1 (FSC L1) 6 hours training + 1.5 hour assessment
WSQ FSC L1 (Refresher) 3 hours training + 1.5 hour assessment
WSQ FSC L1 Assessment Only Pathway* 1.5 hour assessment

* Participants undergo the assessment without attending training.

Upon successful completion of the assessment for any of the above training options, a Statement of Attainment (SOA) issued by SSG will be awarded to the participants.

SFA limits registration of food handlers to persons who have been assessed by SSG-approved training providers under the F&B WSQ system as of 1 June 2007. Anyone who wishes to be registered as a food handler can attend the course provided by any SSG-approved training providers. The list of SSG-approved training providers can be downloaded here

Refresher training requirement

To ensure that food handlers continue to practise good hygiene, the refresher food hygiene training course for food handlers was launched in October 2010. The requirements for refresher training was revised, with effect from 1 October 2014, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Revised refresher training requirements

Refresher Training

Compliance

1st refresher training

By 5th year from the date of first passing the WSQ Food Safety Course Level 1

2nd and subsequent refresher training

Every 10th year from the date of passing the last refresher training

With effect from 1 October 2014, the refresher training for food handlers was aligned with WSQ standards. To meet the requirements for refresher training, food handlers can choose any one of the four training options available, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Training options to meet refresher training requirements

Training Option

Duration

WSQ Food Safety Course Level 1 (FSC L1)  6 hours training + 1.5 hour assessment 
WSQ FSC L1 (Refresher)  3 hours training + 1.5 hour assessment
WSQ FSC L1 Assessment Only Pathway  1.5 hour assessment
WSQ Food Safety Course Level 2 (FSC L2) 6 hours training + 1.5 hour assessment

Upon successful completion of the assessment for any of the above training options, a Statement of Attainment (SOA) will be awarded to the participants, certifying that they have met the requirement for refresher training for food handlers. They would only need to attend their next refresher training by the 10th year from the date of passing the course. The same training options applies at the 10th year.

SFA continues to recognise the Refresher Food Hygiene Course certificate awarded by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), issued from October 2010 to June 2014. Food handlers who have attained the ITE Refresher Food Hygiene Course certificate are only required to attend their subsequent refresher training 10 years from the date that the Refresher Food Hygiene Course certificate was awarded.

 

Cessation of mandatory typhoid vaccination

In consultation with the Ministry of Health (MOH), SFA no longer requires food handlers to undergo mandatory typhoid vaccination and tuberculosis screening with effect from 27th September 2010.

For enquires regarding regulatory requirements on food handlers, please fill in the Online Feedback Form