Hygiene Passport test

All Hygiene Passport tests are taken in a test venue supervised by a Hygiene Passport Examiner. All candidates take the test independently. The answers are given in writing on the Finnish Food Authority’s test form in Finnish, Swedish or English. 

Hygiene Passport tests cannot be taken electronically or remotely. 

All Hygiene Passport Examiners can arrange normal Hygiene Passport tests and also so-called special situation tests. In individual cases, a Hygiene Passport Examiner may organise the test in some other way (test for special situations) instead of a normal Hygiene Passport test. For example, a special situation test can be arranged using a dictionary, braille or sign language, or the Examiner may read the test statements out. The Examiner may also have the statements translated into a language other than Finnish, Swedish or English.

Information about the Hygiene Passport test

Test venue

The Hygiene Passport Examiner must ensure that the test venue enables all candidates to take the test independently and in a peaceful environment.

Time allowed for the test

The time allowed for completing the standard Hygiene Passport test is 45 minutes.  In tests for special situations, the time allowed for responding is not limited. Candidates may leave the test venue at the earliest 20 minutes after the test starts.

Test form

The candidates must write their background information and mark their answers on the Finnish Food Authority’s printed test form. Each candidate must personally write their name and date of birth and mark their answers clearly on the test form. This is the information that the Examiner will use when issuing the Hygiene Passport.

Test statements

The Hygiene Passport test consists of 40 True/False statements. This means that the test has 40 statements, and the candidates must decide if each statement is true or false.

The test statements are about different areas of food hygiene. To respond, the candidate must read each statement carefully and think about the matter from the perspective of food hygiene. All statements concern activities on food premises. 

The correct answer to a test statement cannot always be found directly in legislation or a specific regulation. For example, the answer may be based on good hygiene practices. This means that some of the questions do not have a straightforward correct answer, but one alternative is clearly better in terms of food hygiene than the other. This type of proficiency and understanding are needed in practical food sector duties. The purpose of the Hygiene Pass test is to ensure that the candidate has mastered key issues affecting food hygiene.  

Background information and marking the answers

The candidates write their background information and mark their answers on the Finnish Food Authority's test form.

  • To do so, the candidate should use a ballpoint pen or similar which is not black. This ensures that the answers cannot be changed later.
  • The candidate ticks the "True" or "False" box depending on whether they agree or disagree with the statement. 
  • To pass the test, the candidate must obtain at minimum 34 points out of 40. The candidate gets one point for each correct answer. No minus points are deducted for incorrect answers and, consequently, the candidate can get up to six questions wrong and still pass the test. Empty boxes or answers marked unclearly (making it impossible for the Examiner to decide which alternative the candidate intended to choose) are interpreted as incorrect.

Returning the test form

When the time allowed for the test runs out, the Hygiene Passport Examiner collects the test form and also checks the candidate's identity. 

The Hygiene Passport Examiner checks and archives the test forms.

A Hygiene Passport is issued to candidates who pass the test. In order for a candidate to take the Hygiene Passport test and the Examiner to issue the Passport, it must be possible to check the candidate’s personal data.

The Hygiene Passport Examiner checks the candidate's personal data when the candidate hands the test form back to the Examiner after the test. For this reason, the candidate must bring an identity document to the test. This must be anoriginal official identity document that has a photograph and is valid.

When checking the candidate’s identity, the Hygiene Passport Examiner ensures that the same name and date of birth are shown on the test form and in the identity document. The Examiner also has the duty to check that the candidate's face matches the photograph on the identity document. In terms of food safety, it is important to ensure that a Hygiene Passport is only issued to a person who has passed the Hygiene Passport test.

The Examiner orders the Hygiene Passport using the name and date of birth that the candidate has themselves written on the test form.

Which identity documents are accepted?

As identity documents are accepted valid original documents with a photograph:

  • a Finnish identity card
  • a Finnish passport
  • a Finnish driving licence and moped driving licence
  • a Finnish Kela card with photograph
  • a foreign identity card
  • a foreign passport
  • an alien's passport (an alien's passport is not acceptable as proof of identity if it states that the holder’s identity could not be verified).
  • a refugee’s travel document (a refugee's travel document is not acceptable as proof of identity if it states that the holder’s identity could not be verified).
  • A document issued by an authority (Police/Border Guard) that contains a copy of the passport and the stamp of the authority as well as states that the authority is holding the passport until further notice. This document can be used as a temporary proof of identity.
  • a residence permit and residence permit card issued by the Finnish Immigration Service to refugees, asylum seekers or other immigrants. 

Which documents are not acceptable as proof of identity?

The following are not accepted as proof of identity:

  • a foreign driving licence and moped driving licence
  • a Kela card without photograph
  • a student card, bus pass, library card or similar (even if they have a photograph). 

Test result

The Hygiene Passport Examiner checks the test forms. The Examiner announces the test results to the candidates no later than one month after the test.

If you have any questions about your test result or you wish to talk about it, always contact your Hygiene Passport Examiner first. You should contact the Examiner as soon as possible after you have taken the test.

Request for administrative review

If your test result is a fail and, after discussing it with the Examiner, you still wish to contact the Finnish Food Authority to request an administrative review, you should submit your request (pdf) to the Finnish Food Authority or, if necessary, contact the Finnish Food Authority at hygieniapassi@ruokavirasto.fi

The Examiner always hands out instructions for requesting administrative review to each candidate. Follow the steps given in these instructions. You should note that from the moment you have been informed of the test result and have had an opportunity to see your graded test form, you have 30 days to submit a request for administrative review to the Finnish Food Authority. Your Hygiene Passport Examiner will submit your original failed test form to the Finnish Food Authority’s Registry for the processing of the request for administrative review. The Finnish Food Authority will process the request within 30 days of receiving it. The Finnish Food Authority will make a decision on the matter and also give you the relevant appeal instructions.

The request for administrative review must concern an error made by the Hygiene Passport Examiner when grading the test form or an error in one of the test statements. The test result will not be reviewed unless the request concerns an error made when checking the test form or found in a test statement. Consequently, the fact that your total score is close to a pass result or that your score does not correspond to your actual proficiency level are not sufficient grounds for requesting administrative review. The Finnish Food Authority will decide what the correct answers to the test statements are. Hygiene Passport Examiners use a grading form provided by the Finnish Food Authority to check the test results.

Archiving of test forms

The Hygiene Passport Examiner keeps test forms with a pass result on file for five years after the test date. Test forms with a fail result are archived for three months after the test date. 

If the Examiner issues a new Hygiene Passport, they archive all documents on the basis of which the new Hygiene Passport is issued for five years after the date of issue.

On this page you can find the model test of Finnish Food Authority Hygiene Passport test in Finnish, Swedish or English. You can fill out the model test online or print it out on paper and fill it out afterwards. 

A model test cannot be used as an actual Hygiene Passport test, and a Hygiene Passport will not be issued based on the model test.

The actual Hygiene Passport test is not the same as the model test. The actual Hygiene Passport test is always ganised by a Hygiene Passport Examiner. The actual test is always a written test on Finnish Food Authority’s test form in paper format. The actual Hygiene Passport test cannot be carried out electronically. The test questions vary. 

 

Information about hygiene proficiency

Under the Food Act, the Finnish Food Authority may determine the grounds on which a Hygiene Passport can be obtained and what the candidates must know in order to obtain a Hygiene Passport (Finnish Food Authority regulation on hygiene proficiency 7/2021). The Hygiene Passport test has been designed to require food hygiene proficiency in the following areas:

 

A person who works in the food industry must be able to handle foodstuffs correctly. Ensuring that foodstuffs are safe for customers is particularly important in such work. This is why it is vital to pay attention to the hygiene and cleanliness of foods, activities and facilities. Good food hygiene also reduces the company's losses as food is not wasted unnecessarily.

Practical hygiene proficiency means that employees apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired or demonstrated in a Hygiene Passport test in their daily work. Knowing things in theory is not enough in the workplace. It is important that the company's employees and management are also committed to complying with good hygiene practices in their practical work. A food sector employee

  • knows the basics of food sector hygiene 
  • maintains and updates their knowledge and skills related to food hygiene
  • is able to take into account recent changes concerning the industry, or their facility or its operation, in the company's activities and ensure that these changes are addressed in the company's own-checks. 

Own-check monitoring means that the workplace monitors and ensures the safety and hygiene of its activities.

Hygiene proficiency is regulated by law. The employer has the duty to instruct and train their employees and ensure that the employees have sufficient hygiene proficiency. The employer must also ensure that persons handling unpackaged perishable foods have Hygiene Passports. This shows that the employees have sufficient hygiene proficiency. More detailed provisions on this requirement are contained in the Regulation on the hygiene of foodstuffs (852/2004/EU) and the national Food Act (297/2021).

The employee demonstrates their hygiene proficiency by means of a Hygiene Passport issued based on the Finnish Food Authority's model. A Hygiene Passport can be obtained by taking a Hygiene Passport test. 

The Hygiene Passport consists of two parts:

  1. a paper certificate, and
  2. a plastic card. 

Both parts are important and should be kept carefully.

A Hygiene Passport is issued in the holder's name. It is always personal, regardless of who paid the fees for the Hygiene Passport test and the Hygiene Passport. 

The employee must always show their original Hygiene Passport to the employer. This can be either the plastic card or the printed certificate. The employer has the duty to keep a record of the employees having presented their Hygiene Passports. The Hygiene Passport should not be given to the employer, but the employer can take a copy of it.

 

Page last updated 11/7/2022