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A major development took place in Tramore Road on May 5th with the initial group of Food Safety Champions undertaking the newly launched Retail Food Safety Training course.

Jointly developed by the Food Safety & Quality team and Highfield, the new 5 day programme combines the best in class food safety training methods and materials with an innovative in-store approach whereby qualified Food Safety Champions from the Programme can train staff in-store without the expense and time of sending their staff off site.

The initiative to develop the Programme came about from listening to retailers and understanding that a common approach was needed. Over two years in development it included Training provider selection, materials development and Pilot trials. Highfield were chosen for their extensive international retail training experience in UK, ROI, Middle East and US in addition to the resources and expertise they bring to the Programme.

Steps to Success! Picture of the first Group of SuperValu and Centra Retailers to attend the Retail Food Safety Training Programme in Tramore Road on 5th May.

The Programme was officially launched at both SuperValu and Centra conferences earlier this year. As a result there has been significant recognition of the benefits by retailers leading to many signing up for the first Spring / Summer sessions being held across the country.

The Programme will train over 200 Food Safety Champions & Retailers in 2015 who in turn will train up to a further 4000 staff in-store in 2015. “This innovation in Food Safety training delivery will revolutionise how we approach Retail Food safety” said Ray Bowe, Head of Food Safety & Quality “it will ensure that there are further improvements to the consistency of Food Safety approach while at all times protecting consumers. We also expect that the newly qualified trainers will act as catalysts within their own stores to improve standards. Above all, this new approach is being delivered at a substantially reduced cost compared to traditional training methods so it’s a win-win all round!

The new Programme has also gained positive recognition from EIQA who will allocate additional points where stores can demonstrate the successful application of the training. The Food Safety and Quality team will continue rollout of the Programme in 2016.

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