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This qualification has been designed to meet the revised food safety legislation that came into law in 2006. The level 2 award provides the minimum level of content to meet the new legislation. It has replaced what many employers remember as the "Basic Food Hygiene Certificate". There is an emphasis in the qualification on ensuring that candidates are able to recognise hazards and be able to take preventative action themselves or pass to a supervisor.
Whilst the legislation talks about employers being able to demonstrate that food handlers are competent in food safety, this food safety qualification is popular as it makes it easier for employers to demonstrate that training has taken place as learners will possess a certificate.
The Level 2 Award in Food Safety is also found in all level 1 and 2 chef-related National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs). A level 3 qualification called the "Award in Supervision of Food Safety in Catering" is available aimed at those in supervisory or management positions. A similar qualification called the "Level 2 Award in Practical Food Safety in Catering" is also available. It has the same content, but is aimed at food handlers in the workplace, it has different assessment and its delivery is usually significantly longer.