A food handler refers to any person who handles and prepares food and beverage in NEA-licensed food establishments. Chefs, sous chefs, cooks, kitchen assistants and food stall assistants are considered to be food handlers as they are primarily involved in food preparation.
Managers, captains, waiters, cashiers, dishwashers, cleaners and other service staff are generally not considered as food handlers as they are not directly involved in food preparation. However, they will be considered as food handlers if they are also involved in the handling and preparation of food and beverage. This may take the form of washing and cutting of raw fruits, vegetable and meat, processing of ready to eat food (in raw or cooked form), preparation of sauces, spices and condiments, mixing of beverage drinks, etc.
Regulatory Requirements On Food Handlers
- Attend and pass WDA Food Hygiene Course
- Attend and pass Refresher Food Hygiene Course every 3 years.
In consultation with the Ministry of Health (MOH), the National Environment Agency (NEA) no longer requires food handlers to undergo mandatory typhoid vaccination and tuberculosis screening with effect from 27th September 2010 i.e. food handlers are henceforth not required to undergo typhoid vaccination or be screened for tuberculosis.
For enquires regarding regulatory requirements on food handlers, please email to Contact_NEA@nea.gov.sg or contact our NEA Call Centre Hotline: 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632).
Registration of Food Handlers
You may register and update NEA on your food handlers by filling in this form, attaching the relevant documents and submitting them to the relevant Regional Office* in charge of your eating establishment.
*To find out which Regional Office is in charge of your eating establishment, you may call 1800-2255 632 (1800-CALL NEA) and provide our NEA Call Centre with the address of your eating establishment. The Call Centre will then advise you accordingly.
WDA Basic Food Hygiene Course - WSQ Follow Food & Beverage Safety and Hygiene Policies and Procedures
The Food & Beverage Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) system was launched on 12 July 2006 by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) as the national qualifications system for the F&B industry. NEA has aligned the teaching and assessment of the previous Basic Food Hygiene Course (BFHC) to the F&B WSQ standards with effect from 1 June 2007 in line with the government's effort to upgrade the skills of workers. The alignment to the WSQ standards also serves to improve and standardise the teaching and assessment of the BFHC. To represent the collaborative effort of both organizations, the BFHC was renamed as WSQ Follow Food & Beverage Safety and Hygiene Policies and Procedures.
The WSQ course consists of 7 hours of course work and 1.5 hours of assessment. Upon successful completion of the course and assessment, a Statement of Attainment (SOA) will be awarded to the participants, certifying that they have met NEA's regulatory requirement for food handlers.
NEA limits registration to food handlers trained and assessed by WDA accredited training providers and assessment centres under the F&B WSQ system as of 1 June 2007. Any person who wishes to be registered as a food handler can attend the course provided by any of the WDA accredited training providers. The list of WDA-accredited training providers can be downloaded here.
Information for Companies Interested to Offer the WDA Food Hygiene Course
Training providers who wish to conduct the teaching and assessment of the Basic Food Hygiene Course (BFHC) under the F&B WSQ system are required to be accredited with WDA. Please refer to WDA's website for more information. You may also contact the following WDA officer if you need clarification:
1) Ms Soh Yong Chuan (Quality Assurance, WDA)
DID: 6512 6564 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Refresher Food Hygiene Course - Joint ITE-NEA Certificate in Food Hygiene for Food Handlers (Refresher Training)
To raise the standards of food hygiene, NEA introduced compulsory refresher training for all food handlers since October 2010. Food handlers are now required to undergo the Refresher Food Hygiene Course once every 3 years to sustain awareness on good food hygiene practices. With this course, food handlers will be kept up-to-date on new policies and best practices, and be reminded of what they need to do to avoid committing food hygiene infringements.
Food handlers working at your food establishments are required to undergo the refresher training if they have passed the Basic Food Hygiene Course 3 years or more ago. You are subsequently required to ensure that all food handlers working in your premises attend the refresher training every 3 years, i.e., before the 3-year anniversary of the Basic food hygiene course pass date and/or the Refresher training course pass date.
Refresher Food Hygiene Course Information:
NEA collaborates with ITE in developing the training curriculum and assessment for the Refresher Food Hygiene Course. Currently, ITE and several training providers are conducting the course. You may refer to the following ITE campuses and list below for the approved training organizations that conduct the Refresher Food Hygiene Course. For further enquiries on the Refresher Food Hygiene course curriculum, please contact ITE Headquarters at 1800-CALL ITE (1800-225 5483).
Training and Assessment
Food handlers can undergo the training conducted by ITE/approved training organisations to update themselves on good food hygiene practices and take the assessment after the training.
This course comprises 3 hours of training followed by a 1 hour assessment.