Requirements for hygiene proficiency

Finnish Food Authority issues more detailed instructions on hygiene proficiency according to the Food Act (Finnish Food Authority's Regulation on Hygiene Proficiency (7/2021). These are for example the regulations on the grounds for drawing up and organising a Hygiene Passport test and on the assessment of the tests. The Hygiene Passport test is set out so that it requires food hygiene proficiency in the following areas:

1. Basic knowledge of microbiology and food contamination

The person knows

  • what the microbiological, chemical and physical risk factors pertaining to food are
  • what microbes are and where they are found
  • what harm microbes can cause when working with food
  • how microbes can be utilised in food preparation
  • how the microbes can be influenced by for example temperature, acidity, humidity, oxygen and the consistency of the foodstuff
  • how microbes can contaminate food
  • how foodstuffs can be subjected to chemical or physical contamination
  • what perishable foodstuffs are
  • what contamination and perishability of foodstuffs means

2. Food poisoning, hygienic work procedures

The person knows

  • the risk factors pertaining to food poisoning
  • what to do if food poisoning occurs
  • what the duties of  the food business operator/the individual worker are in case of suspected food poisoning
  • what the duties of the authorities are in case of suspected food poisoning
  • how to prevent food poisoning in their work
  • which the most common pathogens causing food poisoning are
  • which the dangerous contagious diseases are
  • under which circumstances microbes that cause food poisoning can live and multiply

The person can

  • identify the risk factors pertaining to raw materials and products
  • handle and correctly store raw materials, semi-finished and finished products at each stage of the food chain
  • prepare, heat, cool and freeze the foodstuffs correctly
  • handle foodstuffs in such a way that the risk of  post-contamination is as low as possible
  • understand the significance of correct handling of foodstuffs
  • demonstrate  what good food hygiene practices are

3. Personal hygiene

The person knows how to

  • dress in a way required of those who work in the food industry
  • take care of their personal and hand hygiene so that the foodstuffs and the surfaces that are in contact with food will not be contaminated
  • work in accordance with the hygiene regulations as set out in the legislation applying to the food industry

4. Sanitation

The person

  • understands the importance of sanitation and waste management when working with food
  • adheres to the sanitation programme at the workplace
  • can assess the adequacy of the cleaning regime
  • maintains a sufficient level of tidiness in the work environment.

5. Self-checks

The person

  • understands the principle and significance of self-checks
  • can carry out self-checks in their work
  • knows what the risk factors pertaining to foodstuffs are
  • knows which persons are especially sensitive to the risks pertaining to foodstuffs
  • knows how to prevent the risk factors pertaining to foodstuffs

6. Legislation, authorities

The person knows

  • what food hygiene means
  • what the goals are as to food hygiene
  • why food hygiene proficiency is needed
  • what proving food hygiene proficiency means
  • what the general legal requirements are for handling foodstuffs
  • what foodstuffs are and the acts  regulating their handling
  • which authorities are responsible for food controls
Page last updated 4/21/2021