What's it all about then?
As a hygiene operative you’ll play an important role for the food company in which you’re employed.
You’ll work across all of the production areas and be responsible for ensuring that all machines and the actual building meet strict standards of hygiene at all times.
What might I be doing?
A role like this will vary and will require you to work across the factory – however the following are likely to be included:
Carrying out scheduled daily cleaning tasks
Cleaning of processing equipment and production lines to meet required standards, measured through testing of samples
Deep cleaning of production areas
Post cleaning checks to make sure everything has been completed properly
Ensuring that all paperwork is correctly completed
Making sure that everything you do complies with company procedures for Health & Safety and Hygiene
Ensuring that your cleaning and personal protective equipment are functioning correctly at all times
The ability to work effectively under pressure of time
Reporting any incidents or environmental concerns to your line manager.
What will be expected of me?
You’ll likely have some previous experience of either working as a hygiene operative or possibly being employed as a line operative within your current company.
You’ll be expected to be able to work across a variety of environments and you’ll be provided with suitable personal protective equipment.
The role is ideal for someone with a high degree of self motivation and initiative; a fair level of fitness is also needed to fulfil the hygiene operative role in order to lift equipment, operate high pressure hoses etc.
Your communication skills will also need to be good in order both to understand technical cleaning requirements and also to report any issues as they arise in a clear manner.
What can I expect?
You’ll work similar hours to the production staff in your company although these hours may be offset as most of the hygiene operations will take place outside of normal production hours.
The role of hygiene operative may also require you to work weekends when deep cleaning or equipment and production areas are needed.
The team in which you work may be small but will need to be highly efficient to get the job done, so you can expect many demands on your time.
What about the pay?
The pay rate for a hygiene operative will vary widely, depending on where you are employed – this will likely be in line with that earned by an experienced production operative.
You could earn as much as £17,500 in a job such as this.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
This will vary from company to company and you may have taken the job internally, having been previously been employed as a production operative.
If you apply externally then your previous experience will be an important consideration, however, the more qualifications you have, the better.
These include level 2 Food Safety, Health and Safety, HACCP and COSHH
Where would I get these qualifications?
These qualifications are often offered by your employer and delivered internally so you may have received them as part of your job.
Alternatively your local college will offer a variety of courses as described above and these will improve your promotional prospects.
What about further training?
There are all sorts of training that will enhance your ability to do your job and also improve your opportunities for promotion to a supervisory or management role.
As well as those qualifications mentioned above, you might think about manual handling training, risk assessment training.
Of course, many qualifications are offered at different levels so another idea may be to move on from, for example, a Level 2 (Basic) Certificate in Food Safety to a Level 3 (Intermediate).
Many equipment manufacturers also offer training in the most effective and safe use of their products and this offers additional training opportunities.
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes, the job of Hygiene Operative is one which is extremely important to the well being of your company and you will be expected to set a positive example to your fellow employees at all time.
As you increase your levels of skills and experience you will be able to move into mores senior supervisory and managerial roles.