Monitor food hygiene standards using rapid test methods in food and drink operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Food Safety for Manufacturing
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 29 Feb 2020


This standard is about the skills and knowledge required to monitor food hygiene standards using rapid methods. You need to check and prepare equipment and the environment for testing; conduct sampling and record test results. You also need to interpret test results.

You will need to be able to prepare materials and equipment to implement testing processes and use them in accordance with standard operations procedures. You will need to conduct tests. You will also need to be able to record and interpret the information produced to enable it to inform decisions regarding food safety.

This standard is relevant to you if your role requires you to carry out rapid hygiene testing on plant and equipment in food and drink operations.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Prepare for testing

  1. confirm that the documentation is available before testing begins

check that testing equipment is calibrated and in a serviceable condition

  1. confirm that all required resources are available and prepared for use

identify and report unserviceable equipment in accordance with organisational requirements

  1. confirm the relevant areas to be sampled

check that the area is safe to sample especially if guards need to be removed or safety interlocked doors opened

Prepare test samples

  1. check the integrity of samples in accordance with organisational requirements

handle and use samples safely using aseptic techniques

Conduct tests and record results

  1. carry out tests in line with standard operating procedures

use positive and negative controls in accordance with organisational requirements

  1. record relevant information and data in accordance with organisational requirements

interpret results, both positive or negative, in accordance with organisational requirements

  1. identify potential false positive results

record, investigate and report deviations from expected results to relevant staff in accordance with organisational requirements

Work safely and hygienically

  1. implement tests in accordance with environmental protection and health and safety requirements

handle and dispose of equipment and materials in accordance with organisational requirements

  1. restore the working area in accordance with organisational procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the environmental protection, health and safety requirements and procedures for preparation and testing including use of personal protective equipment
  2. why standard operating procedures are important and how to use them for quality control
  3. how to prepare testing equipment
  4. features and limitations of testing equipment and how to use it safely
  5. how the equipment is calibrated
  6. why it is important to check the fitness for purpose and serviceability of equipment
  7. why it is important to report defective equipment
  8. how to identify suitable areas for testing
  9. the procedures and methods of testing
  10. methods of safe storage and sample preparation
  11. how to dispose of testing materials safely
  12. reporting procedures and actions to take in the event of product noncompliance
  13. how to calculate test results
  14. how to avoid and detect false positive results
  15. how to assess hygiene standards against company specifications using approved methods
  16. acceptable levels of tolerance in quality interpretation and decision-making
  17. why it is important to keep records of assessment and findings
  18. how to make recommendations for actions
  19. how to access and interpret quality standards


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

28 Feb 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Manufacturing Technologies, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Food; drink; hygiene; safety; manufacturing; test; testing