A Food Hygiene Officer (FHO) oversees and implements effective food hygiene measures which ensure food is prepared in a safe and hygienic manner. Having a senior staff member trained as a FHO will reinforce a high standard of food and personal hygiene in food establishments.
The FHO scheme was introduced to help food establishments in December 2000. The objectives of the FHO scheme include:
- Training supervisors and managers of food establishments to implement and maintain good hygiene practices;
- Assisting operators to conduct in-house supervision and correct irregularities detected; and
- Promoting professionalism in the food retail industry.
Since then, licensees of the following categories of food establishments have been required to appoint a senior staff member (such as a chief chef, sous chef, restaurant manager, operations manager, or supervisor) to be trained as a FHO.
- Housed in two or more adjacent units in private and HDB shophouses; or
- With kitchen area exceeding 16m2
- Food court
FHOs will help owners or licensees oversee and enhance the standard of hygiene and sanitation in their premises. In between SFA's inspections, they play the role of food safety checkers who rectify hygiene irregularities. The duties of a FHO include:
- Implementing systems and conducting checks to ensure food handlers practise good food and personal hygiene during food preparation;
- Educating and reminding food handlers to practise good hygiene; and
- Identifying lapses and taking prompt corrective action.
The FHO may use a checklist for assistance during checks. FHOs can adapt this sample checklist [DOCX, 30 KB] to meet the requirements of their respective establishments.
To qualify as a FHO, the appointed staff member will need to attend and pass the WSQ Food Safety Course Level 3 (formerly known as WSQ Conduct Food & Beverage Hygiene Audit course). Once they have passed the examination, participants are awarded a Statement of Attainment (SOA).
SFA allows participants who have successfully passed the course to register as certified FHOs. A certified FHO will not need to attend the Food Safety Course Level 1 (FSC L1) if he/she decides to work as a food handler. However, the FHO will need to attend FSC L1 (Refresher) at the 5-year mark from the date he/she passes the Food Safety Course Level 3 if his/her course of work involves food handling.
The second and subsequent FSC L1 (Refresher) courses must be taken every 10th year from last FSC L1 (Refresher) course pass date, if the FHO continues to work as a food handler.
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 register / update details of food hygiene officers.
WSQ Food Safety Course Level 3
SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), formerly known as the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), launched the Food & Beverage Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) system in 2007 as the national qualifications standard for the Food & Beverage industry. With effect from 1 August 2010, SFA has aligned the FHO course with the Food & Beverage WSQ standards, as part of government efforts to upgrade the skills of workers. To qualify as a FHO, the appointed staff member must undergo the WSQ Food Safety Course Level 3.
The WSQ Food Safety Course Level 3 is a 3-day programme inclusive of an assessment. FHOs trained under the WSQ framework will gain knowledge and practical skills in conducting checks on cleanliness, personal hygiene, and food hygiene in food establishments. The list of SSG-approved training providers can be downloaded here.
FHOs trained previously under the FHO course conducted by Singapore Environment Institute (SEI) will continue to be recognised by SFA.