The MCA Food Hygiene Certificate is mandatory if you are going to work as a cook on any ship, or as a stewardess on a superyacht, cruise, and so on. You can easily get an MCA Food Hygiene Level 2 certificate in South Africa. Let’s understand what the course entails and how to obtain the certificate in this article.

The MCA Food Hygiene Level 2 Course in South Africa

To obtain the MCA Food Hygiene Level 2 certificate in South Africa, you will have to join the course. There are no prior qualifications required to join the course. The nature of this course will most likely be online, followed by an exam session which will be at a designated location. Remember, the online-only MCA Food Hygiene Level 2 certificate is no longer considered valid. You will have to retake the course if your certificate was obtained via online examination.

You should renew this certificate once every three years. The reason behind this is to update your knowledge regarding food safety and hygiene standards.

What do you learn in a MCA Food Hygiene Level 2 Course?

In the MCA Food Hygiene Level 2 Course in South Africa, you may learn the following things:

Introduction to Food Safety covers the importance of food safety in the maritime industry. You will also learn about the legal and regulatory requirements related to food safety on ships. This also includes an introduction to HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) principles.

When it comes to food, personal hygiene is also important. This course also includes basic hygiene practices like proper handwashing techniques, protective clothing (e.g. apron, gloves), hygienic work attire, and rules regarding illness.

Food handling and preparation includes principles of safe food storage, temperature control, avoiding cross-contamination, and thawing, cooking, and reheating food safely.

This course may also include pest control management, which includes identifying common pests on ships and methods of preventing and controlling pest infestation in food preparation and storage areas.

And lastly, waste management. This section includes proper disposal of food waste and hazardous materials and recycling practices.

Depending on your course, your curriculum may differ. But you will be learning the 5 points we have mentioned in this article.

Who should take this course?

Anyone going to work in the marine industry can take this course, really. This certification will definitely make your resume flexible. The only question you should be asking is whether it would be worth it for your resume. If you are not going to work with food and hygiene, this certificate will most certainly be useless for you.

However, for cooks or stewardesses working on ships (not deckhands, however, deckhands may benefit from this certification), this certificate is most crucial. So, we would highly recommend these career-seekers take the MCA Food Hygiene Level 2 course in South Africa.

Cooks and Stewardesses benefit from this certification the most as they directly deal with food and beverages on the ship.

What else do Stewardesses need?

Apart from the MCA Food Hygiene Level 2 certificate, Stewardesses also need the following:

Apart from that, any relevant experience in the hospitality industry or working on a boat will bring additional value to your resume. As stewardesses interact directly with guests onboard, they are required to be meticulous, polite, humble, and have knowledge about etiquette and food. During the interview, be upfront, polite, and presentable and you stand a good chance at making a good first impression.

For more information on how to become a stewardess on a superyacht, feel free to read our article:


The MCA Food Hygiene Level 2 certificate is mandatory for stewardesses and cooks working on superyachts. In South Africa, you can get the certificate at any MCA-accredited institution, such as Sail and Power SA. For more information, please feel free to connect with us.