Q 1. Who is a Person in Charge?
Ans. Person in Charge is a representative of the management who has the overall responsibility to ensure food safety in a food establishment.  The PIC is accountable to the government for making sure that employees and the establishment are following effective policies and procedures to ensure food safety.

If there are multiple shifts, the PIC will be responsible for the proper functioning of the food establishment’s operation for a limited time (the work shift).
Q 2. Who can be a PIC?
Ans. The PIC can be the owner of the business or a designated person, such as a shift leader, chef, kitchen manager or similar individual who is always present in the work site and has direct authority, control or supervision over employees who engage in food related operations.
Q 3. Who does it apply to?
Ans. A PIC is required in all types of food establishments.
Q 4. Are there any minimum qualifications to become a PIC?
Ans. No. There are no minimum qualifications to become a PIC. However, PICs should pass the certification relevant to their type of food business.
Q 5. How many PICs does each organisation need and what are their training requirements?
Ans. Businesses need to appoint at least one PIC per premises.  The below chart will provide you information on the requirements based on business type. Please note that the Food Inspector will have the discretion to change the recommended levels of training based on the type of the business activity and the risk involved. The Inspector will nominate the person during the inspection.
Q 6. Does the PIC have to be at the business all the time?
Ans. One per establishment’ – means that there should be at least one person in charge in each establishment. This requirement applies to low and medium risk businesses. In this case, the person in charge need not be present at all times, but it is strongly recommended that the person in charge is present during the busiest times of the day.

‘One per shift’ – means that there should be one PIC per shift per establishment. This requirement applies to high risk food businesses that require continuous monitoring.

‘One per shift present in the production area / kitchen’ – means that there should be at least one PIC per shift in all important production areas or kitchen. This rule applies to larger food establishments with multiple kitchens or production areas that handle high risk foods.

‘One per shift per kitchen ( depends on the size)’ – means that the establishment may need additional PICs depending on the size of the operation. It will be the discretion of the Food Inspection Officer to recommend the number of PICs required in the food business.

If the PIC is away (eg not on shift, on leave, sick), the business must still maintain food safety. The PIC can facilitate this by:
  • sharing food safety knowledge with other staff
  • training staff to take appropriate corrective actions when there is a problem
  • developing work instructions that staff can follow to continue handling food safely.
Q 7. When should the establishment appoint PIC?
Ans. All food establishments should have a  trained and certified PIC by December 2011.
Q 8. What if a PIC changes their details?
Ans. The business owner must notify the food inspection officer of any changes regarding their existing PIC’s contact details within seven days of becoming aware of the changes (eg phone number change, name change).
Q 9. Is the PIC solely responsible for food safety in a food business?
Ans. No. Everyone who works in a food business has a responsibility to handle food safely.

Business owners/license holders
  • need to ensure that all facilities are provided to ensure an effective food safety system
  • need to ensure their business complies with the Food Code and other food safety requirements
  • need to appoint a PIC
  • will continue to be liable, as at present, if a food safety breach does occur

Food handlers

  • must have the skills and knowledge relevant to their food duties to keep food safe (eg a chef will need greater food safety skills and knowledge than a waiter or kitchen hand)

Person in Charge

  • Owner himself or a person nominated by the owner and works under the direction of the owner
  • supervises food handling in the business to make sure it is being done safely
  • needs to understand the overall food safety processes of the business as it applies to all staff
Q 10. What is a PIC Certificate?
Ans. The PIC Food Safety certificate will be issued by Awarding Bodies approved by the Food Control Department and accredited by the Dubai Accreditation Department.

A PIC certificate will state that the person it is issued to is qualified to be a PIC for a particular level.

The PIC certificate is valid for five years from the date of issue with a requirement for a refresher course before the end of three years.

It is a legal requirement that all businesses keep a copy of their PIC certificate on the premises and produce it for inspection on the request of food inspection officers.
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