Following some confusion from industry members at a recent training event surrounding Food Hygiene courses and how they can be taken, we want to reiterate that, under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC), any Food Safety certificate from an online course is no longer accepted by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

As of August 2015, the MCA only accepts Food Safety certificates from practical courses. Any online courses must be followed by a practical assessment.

A Food Safety certificate is compulsory under the MLC, for all crewmembers handling food. So if you’re a deckhand and you’re asked to handle food, you need your Food Safety certificate.

A Level 2 Food Hygiene course is the minimum level accepted by the MCA. This is included in the Ship Cook’s Certificate.