Off to flying start in 2019!

Success! My first course of the new year, with 6 brilliant participants on the Intermediate (CIEH) Food Safety programme, concluded yesterday with the exam, and a clean sweep of passes. Congratulations to Adrian, Heather, Matthew, Paul, Stacey and Stephen. Its the first time in a long while that I have played two food safety songs with my guitar – and they wanted more!!!!!

But, there’s no rest for the trainer, as my next one starts on Thursday this week!

Anyway, alongside the trusted combination of PowerPoint, flipchart, mindmap exercises, the CIEH Food Safety card exercise, scented marker pens, and fluffy bacteria as old favourites, I now feature 3 video clips of handwashing training as demonstrated by my Grand-daughter Caitlin, (aged 3). Suffice it to say,  while I deliver 20 hours of great training, Caitlin’s mere 3 minutes on camera get the best response!!! In the concluding clip she sang Happy Birthday (to get the 20 seconds timing) but decided to sing Happy Birthday to Jennifer (because she’s her friend in toddler’s class at day nursery!) Way to go Caitlin!



The perfect food handler

This is one of my all time favourite exercises – it always delivers fun, enjoyment, and serious discussion/disagreement about the in-house dress code! And as this is from an Intermediate Food Safety course, it will go on to be developed into a review of the personal hygiene policy, plus induction and ongoing training, and of course participative handwash training.

Mind you, it does make me question what kind of people are working in these kitchens????!!!

perfect food handler

Happy New Year! Welcome 2019

Hi, to all my fellow trainers and environmental health professionals, may I wish you all the best for 2019.

Have you made your new year resolutions yet? Mine is very simple (it has to be for me!):

Be better than last year, celebrate and share my successes, embrace my errors, learn from them, and most of all enjoy everything I encounter!!!

January starts with a bang as I have two intermediate food safety courses to deliver, plus as of today I am officially a CIEH trustee, having been elected to a three year term. While confidentiality will of course limit what I can report and feedback here, I hope to have an influence inside my professional body again and assist in developing new directions and sustaining and hopefully growing the CIEH for years to come.

On top of the usual training auditing and policy work for many clients, I am looking to continue to release very low cost resources for creative trainers to help them make their courses the best ever!!!.

Its going to be a busy 2019!!!

Cyber Monday – Free “Name the pathogens” quiz still available

Yes, it’s true, having carried out a day of Christmas Shopping yesterday, I am entering into the spirit, and have decided to keep my little “Name the Pathogens” quiz free until midnight tonight!

You can download it here:

Name the pathogens

I have had such a great response to these little ‘fill in the blanks’ quizzes, that I am going to continue to produce them for all the topics in Foundation and Level 2 Food Safety courses, which is where they will be of most use. Let me know if there is a particular one you need. Just mail me at


Intermediate Food Safety – my favourite course?

I am getting a much increased demand for Intermediate Food Safety courses just now, and requests for enhanced allergen training and coaching within the course, sadly in the wake of recent tragic events. All our training is bespoke to our clients and their systems, from simple implementation of SFBB, to full blown HACCP plans, and everything in between.

The Intermediate course (I use CIEH accreditation by choice) is my absolute favourite to teach, and has been ever since it was originally launched way back last century (!) In fact I used to write all the exam papers and questions for CIEH from 1996 for a good number of years and into the new millennium. Oddly enough the course (or at least the way I teach it) hasn’t changed a bit in all this time, although of course the content has updated. Its essentially not so much a food safety course, more a supervisory skills course, but set in a practical food safety context. (Incidentally, in health and safety too I was one of the original designers for this middle layer of training).

I always recall the first time I introduced an immersive exercise designed to teach the power of good supervision in food safety, and the risks of poor supervision:

This was before VACCP and TACCP were words on our lips – and before sabotage was a subject we taught in any great detail. On an in-house course, nevertheless, I created an exercise to infiltrate a (real) rival company and ruin their reputation by covert poor supervision – E.coli O157 being our weapon of choice in those days as a ‘new’ and upcoming risk. The delegates took the exercise to heart, producing sample press releases, news items, and evidence for the court case. and some years later I was fortunate to deliver training for the rival company!!! You can guess what happened then????  This was training at the edge of creativity!!!! All done in the best possible taste!!!! (Nowadays I vary the exercise between campylobacter, listeria, allergens etc. dependent on the client – and we introduce VACCP and TACCP as appropriate).

These types of  exercise may be a little controversial, and need skilful handling, but they help the good practice sessions come alive, and you find that your learners either roll out their learning from the course in their own words (always very inspiring), or they show up the sessions you haven’t taught well enough (equally as valuable). And the more creative and slightly safer ideas found their way into some of the original CIEH training packs which are still on my shelf, if not on yours!

Have you got a favourite immersive training exercise you would like to share? Email me on if you have.

Also, if this is the kind of training you want to bring into your organisation, contact us now for a personalised illustration and no-obligation meeting, on your journey to better food safety management. 07973 549906 or

Happy training !