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Food Handlers Screening

The Health and Safety at Work etc., Act 1974 requires UCL to ensure, so far as is reasonably practical, the health and safety of all employees while at work, and to ensure that other people are not put at risk by any work related activities.

The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 state that "no person, known or suspected to be suffering from, or to be a carrier of, a disease likely to be transmitted through food or while afflicted, for example with infected wounds, skin infections, sores or with diarrhoea, shall be permitted to work in any food or food handling area in any capacity in which there is any likelihood of directly or indirectly contaminating food with pathogenic micro-organisms."

This process must be applied to all kitchens and bars owned or occupied by UCL for the preparation and service of food and drink.

A ‘Food Handler’ is defined as a person who is involved in the preparation, cooking, serving or transportation of wrapped or unwrapped food, including ice drinks in any part of the University.

The term ‘Manager’ will be used in reference to the nominated UCL staff member responsible for the health and safety of Food Handlers employed by UCL.

The Occupational Health Service (OHS) provides Pre-employment / assignment, and appropriate subsequent review health screening where necessary for all Food Handlers.

Manger’s Responsibilities:

Pre-Placement Health Screening

The manager will complete a job hazard identification form and send it directly to OHS.

A Pre-placement Health Screening form will be sent directly to the employee.

A fitness outcome will be forwarded on to the manager/supervisor.

If further assessment is required the employee will be contacted for a consultation.

Return To Work After Following Sickness Absence

All Food Handlers must be made aware of their responsibility to notify their manager or supervisor before commencing work if they have experienced diarrhoea or vomiting in the last 48 hours or if they have skin infections, boils, burns or ear, nose or throat infections.

The manager will:

Temporary Employment of Staff

In certain circumstances, should agency staff be used, pre-employment screening will not have taken place. Under these circumstances only the Manager/Catering Manager/Head chef must ensure that the Food Handler is fit to work. A ’Fitness to work’ questionnaire for temporary workers must be used and retained in the department. If the staff member is offered a permanent post, then the pre-placement screening process must apply.

Services Standards

A pre-placement Health Questionnaire will be sent directly to employee within 2 working days.

If further assessment is required by OHS then appointment will be offered within 5 working days.

Forms and Information

Job Hazard identification form
Pre-placement Health Questionnaire
Return to Work after illness Questionnaire
Exclusion from work
Food Handlers Advice Sheet
Temporary workers questionnaire

Regulatory Guidance for Best Practice Advice for Food Business Operators