Food certifications are a must-have for every professional in the food industry. This is a no-brainer, as everyone wants to be sure that his/her food manufacturer is adhering to safety regulations in their method of production.
In time past, food poisoning has killed some individuals. So, regulations have been put in place to prevent a re-occurrence of such incidents; thus, the need for food certifications programs, to enlighten food producers on best practices to follow in the food industry.
In this article, we would discuss top 5 food certification programs to take, in order to enhance your career in 2021.
What are food certifications?
Food certifications are certifications which are issued by an objective third party; ascertaining and verifying that a product, and the methods and systems used by the product’s manufacturer meet various food safety standards. Food certifications are based on the result of tests, inspections and audits.
They make customers more confident in using a product, since its systems and method of production, as well as the product itself have been thoroughly evaluated by accepted national and international standards, by an objective and competent third-party.
Food certifications also help one to adopt the industry’s highest standards in food safety, as well as gain access to global markets.
Benefits of Getting a Food Certification
There are many benefits to be derived from getting a food certification, as a manufacturer in the food business and other related products.
Also, not only would it be of significant benefit to the manufacturer, but it would also benefit consumers, and ultimately the nation at large.
Below are some benefits of getting a food certification include;
- Gaining a food certification would enhance your brand’s credibility; signaling to your consumers and target audience that you adhere to industry standards for food safety and quality.
- This would enable your consumers to trust your product, and even tell others about you.
- This leads to the next benefit of acquiring a food certification, which is gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.
- A food certification would put you ahead in your industry, and help you gain an edge over your competitors, who may not have acquired a food certification.
Another benefit of a food certification is that it helps you maintain consistency in producing quality. When you follow an industry regulated system and standard in your production, there would be consistency in the quality of what you produce, over time.
A food certification also helps you, when seeking insurance for your food business. This is because most insurance companies would require it, before insuring your business with their company.
Also, it is cost efficient, as it mitigates against the waste you would have, if a product recall occurs, when it is discovered that you do not follow industry standard requirement for your production.
It also saves you from lawsuits in the extreme case of food poisoning, as a result of careless production systems and methods.
Overall, it protects the supply chain and promotes best practices, whilst helping you stand out in your industry.
Cost for Getting Food Certification
A food certification has lots of benefits, compared to the amount it would cost you to obtain one.
On average, a food certification costs between $100 to $150.
How long does a food certification last?
The length of time that your food certificate lasts before expiration depends on your state’s health inspectors’ office regulations.
Typically, a food certification should last between 2-3 years, and after expiration, you would be required to retake the course and exam to renew your certificate.
Jobs You Can Get With Food Certification
There are many job opportunities in the food industry, that one can take up with a food certification. Some of these jobs are:
1. Food Product Development Scientist:
One of the jobs you can do, with a certification in food safety, is that of a food product development scientist. This job requires you to find means to improve the safety, as well as the nutritional value of different food products.
Formulations and procedures are also developed to help increase the quality of food, for customers’ satisfaction, whilst controlling cost. Food Product Development Specialists are also saddled with the responsibility of processing, canning, freezing, storing and packaging food.
A Food Product Development Scientist earns about $68,970 annually.
A nutritionist accesses a person’s dietary needs, whilst consulting with health professionals to come up with a nutrition plan, that fits the individual’s state of health.
They provide professional advice on how people can lead a healthy lifestyle based on what they eat.
Also, they evaluate the effect of each meal plan and make changes, if needed. They must be up to date with the latest nutritional science research so that they could give sound advice to their clients.
A nutritionist can work in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc., and they earn up to $61,270.
3. Regulatory Affairs Specialist:
A Regulatory Affairs Specialist ensures that the production of food and other related products conform with the stated laws.
They are current about food and dietary legislation, as well as carry out consistent reviews of procedures, hereby, making sure that companies in the food industry operate within the law guiding food manufacturing, packaging, distribution, etc.
They also help obtain help obtain and maintaining government approval for drugs, medical devices, nutritional products, etc. They help to ensure Quality Assurance in the food industry.
Regulatory Affairs Specialists earn about $60,837 annually.
4. Food Labelling Specialist:
They are saddled with the responsibility of writing the nutritional labels on food products, and they come up with product names, weight statements, ingredient statements, alert declarations, etc.
They also ensure that the ingredients used in making the product, its nutritional facts, etc. are in line with industry laws.
Food Labelling Specialists review new packaging proof at all design stages, to ensure the correctness of the information and the accuracy of grammar, used in writing them. They also keep up to date with regulatory industry changes. They earn about $57,699.
A chef is a professional in the food industry, who specializes in preparing food, often focusing on a particular cuisine.
They are expert cooks who oversee a kitchen, plan the menu, maintain the budget, price menu items, prepare food, ensure the quality of service and safety in food preparation.
Every chef needs a food certification, to help them be better and do better in their field of expertise. They are highly knowledgeable about food preparation, production and processing.
They earn about $49,300 annually.
6. Food Safety Auditor:
Food Safety Auditors specialize in ensuring that unsafe food is kept away from the market, restaurants, supermarket shelves, etc.
They work in a food manufacturing company and perform audits on food. They also provide training to individuals and groups in the food industry on topics, such as pest control, food safety, food production equipment maintenance.
They are always up to date on current food safety regulations, and they also help to remedy non-conformities, improve employee performance, etc.
They earn about $79,347 annually.
7. Public Health Nutritionist:
Public Health Nutritionists work to improve the nutritional lifestyle and health of a specific group of people in a place. They work with groups, rather than with individual clients.
They lookout for the nutritional issues these groups of people are facing and develop programs and educational resource materials to address these issues.
They earn about $65,875.
8. Corporate Wellness Consultant:
They provide guidelines on healthy eating, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle through healthy feeding and exercising habits.
They provide their clients with information on topics, such as nutrition, health, stress, fatigue, etc. They do this by organizing seminars, creating wellness educational materials, etc.
They earn about $55,472.
9. Nutrition Services Manager:
They work with care facilities, hospitals and other facilities, to plan and manage a large nutritionally appropriate meal schedule.
They plan menus, get supplies, manage meal budget, and also oversee meals preparation, to ensure that the cooks are following nutritionally appropriate methods in food preparation.
They earn about $53,884.
10. Nutrition Writer:
Everyone wants access to health and nutrition information, so, you can combine your writing skills with your food certification and become a nutrition writer.
A nutrition writer writes articles, books, white papers, magazines, web content, etc. on the subject of nutrition, on topics, such as healthy eating, meal planning, and other related topics.
A nutrition writer earns about $39,555 for a freelance position.
How much you can earn as a food certified professional?
There are various factors which determines the amount one can earn as a food certified professional or manager.
These factors include education, certifications acquired, skills, location, number of years of experience, expertise, etc.
Averagely, a certified food manager earns about $81,016 to $112,083 annually.
Steps to Getting a Food Certification
In getting a food certification, there are some steps to take from when you conceive the idea, down to the day you finally get your certification, as a food professional.
To start with, check your state’s training requirement to know the approved courses, the particular certification you should get; depending on your job role, etc.
After getting vital information on this, get the course. This could either be online or in-person, depending on your preference and what is available at your location.
Your course covers the cost of learning materials, exams and the license.
Then, take your exam after the course is completed to proceed in your journey as a certified food professional. The exam usually contains about 45-50 questions, with a 75% pass requirement.
After you pass, you could print your certification or get it sent to your mail by the program organizers.
Now, you can display your food certification, where your customers, as well as health inspectors, can see it.
Top 5 Food Certification Programs to Enhance your Career in 2022
There are different food certifications available to be taken today, to certify you as a food professional and as an expert food handler, who adheres to food safety regulations.
Some of these food certifications are:
1. Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP):
The GMP certification ensures the quality of a product, by establishing manufacturing processes, determining and documenting these processes and then training operators to follow them.
It ensures that food is of high quality and are produced in compliance with food safety regulations. GMP regulations are controlled by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
2. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP):
HACCP is a food safety certification for individuals in the food industry, who works in food manufacturing, food packaging, food warehouse storing, etc.
It is geared towards preventing hazards in food and pharmaceutical products. HAACP focuses on the physical, chemical and biological hazards, as a means of prevention before a finished product inspection is done.
HAACP is an internationally recognized certificate. And it helps to reduce the risks of unsafe products, by identifying and managing risks to food safety and critical control points.
3. HAZMAT Training:
This certification prepares individuals for safe handling and disposing of hazardous materials.
They deal with hazardous materials, such as, cleaning solvents and fuel, which are found in the food manufacturing and processing industry.
The certification is important in areas of the food industry, such as manufacturing and testing of packaging and containers, transportation, shipping, handling and storing of these materials.
4. Six Sigma:
This is a measure of quality that aims for perfection when assessing something. The Six Sigma certification focuses on eliminating defects, using a disciplined and self-driven approach in food handling.
The certification also enables one to be able to explain the Six Sigma Methodology, philosophies and principles, when working in the food and product industry.
5. Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification:
This is an internationally recognized certificate, which communicates a business’ Quality Management System (QMS) to conform with food safety regulations.
SQF Certification helps to make sure that a product has passed and met the required international standards for food safety.
It also shows that the organization practices Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Manufacturing Principles (GMPs) for food.
Food certifications are important if you want to grow as a professional in the food industry.
Hence, make sure you take up some of the certifications, as suggested in this article and watch yourself grow in your career.
Food certifications are certifications that are issued by an objective third party, ascertaining and verifying that a product and the methods and systems used by the product’s manufacturer meet various food safety standards.
It helps to maintain consistency in food quality.
It helps in building brand credibility.
It is cost-effective
It is important if you want to ensure your food business.
To protect the supply chain and promote best practices.
It gives you an edge over your competitors.
Check your state’s training requirement.
Buy and study the food certification course
Take the exam
Receive your certification
Your food certification is valid for about 2-3 years, after which you would be required to renew it.
Food Product Development Specialist
Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Food Labelling Specialist
Food Safety Auditor
Public Health Nutritionist
Corporate Wellness Consultant.
Nutrition Services Manger
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Certification
Safe Quality Food (SQF)