Yearly Archives: 2017

Importance of Food Handler Training

2019-05-28T15:00:27+00:00

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Why is food safety important? That is a question you might not hear often. Depending who is being asked you might get different response. A stay at home mother might tell you “because I don’t want my kids or husband to get sick”. A food manger might tell you “because not taking care of food safety in a business environment can harm the reputation of the business”. Whatever the scenario may be, one thing is for sure, knowing about food safety can protect you. Unfortunately food borne illnesses are under reported which makes it seem like it is not a big problem. Thousands of people fall ill due to lack of food handler education and training whether at home or work. The food industry and customers are challenged by this lack of education from food handlers. In addition, a food borne illness can have dire effect on children, seniors, pregnant women and individuals who have compromised immune systems.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Importance of Food Handler Training 2019-05-28T15:00:27+00:00

Food Handler Behaviour – Clean Hands

2019-05-28T15:02:13+00:00

The final blog in this series of food handler behaviour relates to clean hands. Food handlers should constantly be aware of their hand hygiene. Food handlers can prevent bacteria and other contaminates from building up beneath their nails by keeping nails clean, trim and avoiding wearing fake nails and nail polish. Additionally, jewelry that is on the hands and wrists should also be removed to allow effective hand washing. It is important to know that nothing substitutes handwashing when handling food. If gloves are used in preparing or serving food, hands must continue to be thoroughly washed prior to wearing gloves. Gloves must also be disposed of after each task. Hands must be washed using the 6 steps of hand washing: When to Wash Hands Before commencing work. Before, during and after preparing food. After smoking. After using the washroom. After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. After touching garbage, clearing tables or handling soiled objects. After break/returning to work. After changing tasks. After [...]

Food Handler Behaviour – Clean Hands 2019-05-28T15:02:13+00:00

Food Handler Behavior – Don’t Snack While Working With Food

2019-05-28T15:04:17+00:00

The third blog in this series is about snacking while handling food. Food handlers should eat in an approved designated break room. Snacking while handling food can trigger allergic reactions. Think about it, if a food handler is snacking on almonds while preparing a garden salad. Trace amounts of the almond remains on their hands. Although the garden salad doesn’t contain nuts as an actual ingredient, it would be enough to trigger an allergic reaction to the person consuming it (if they suffer from allergies) due to the traces on the food handler hands. Snacking also includes chewing gum. Chewing gum should be avoided in areas where food is being prepared. Saliva can accidently spray from a person’s mouth and contaminate the food or food contact surface. The chewing gum can also accidently fall into the food. Additionally, employee food should be stored in a designated fridge and labeled. Personal habits of food handlers can have a direct impact on the safety of food, [...]

Food Handler Behavior – Don’t Snack While Working With Food 2019-05-28T15:04:17+00:00

Food Handler Behavior – Be Mindful of Bad Habits

2019-05-28T15:05:49+00:00

The second blog in this series is about bad habits. Have you ever heard the expression “bad habits, die hard”? Well, its true! Bad habits can take several days, months or years to completely rid your self from them. However, when working with food these habits can results in serious illnesses. It is important to being mindful of bad habits when working with food such as: Playing/twirling hair Biting nails Snacking while working with food Touching around the face Improper handwashing/lack of handwashing There are many ways food handlers can be mindful of their bad habits. The first thing is to recognize that your habit can result in food borne illness. How can you recognize this? By gaining essential food safety knowledge. Food handlers must learn about safe food handling to ensure they are doing everything in their power to prevent food borne illness. The Probe It online food safety course provides food handlers with valuable knowledge that is needed when working with food. [...]

Food Handler Behavior – Be Mindful of Bad Habits 2019-05-28T15:05:49+00:00

Food Handler Behavior – Follow Proper Tasting Methods

2019-05-28T15:09:50+00:00

The next series of food safety blogs will be related to food handler behavior. Personal habits of food handlers can have a direct impact on the safety of food. Food handlers can unintentionally become carriers of pathogenic micro-organisms to food or food contact surfaces. A few common personal hygiene behaviors are provided below for food handlers to follow in order to avoid food borne illnesses. Ensuring control of personal habits can prevent food borne illnesses from occurring. Follow Proper Tasting Methods It is important that proper techniques are used for tasting food. Do not use your finger, mixing spoon or tongs to taste food. These can introduce pathogenic micro-organisms into the food that can result in illness. Taste testing can be done in two ways: Transfer a small amount of food into a separate bowl and then taste it from there. Use a clean spoon to taste the food. Once food has been tasted, the dirty spoon must be washed in the dishwashing area. [...]

Food Handler Behavior – Follow Proper Tasting Methods 2019-05-28T15:09:50+00:00

Temperature Danger Zone

2019-05-28T15:12:06+00:00

When handling food it is important that we recognize that unsafe food will not always appear as unsafe. Pathogenic micro-organisms will not provide a smell, a taste or colour. They are invisible and the only way to protect ourselves from them is by taking extra precautions when handling food. By ensuring food does not stay in the temperature danger zone for over 2 hours is a great way to ensure pathogenic bacteria does not reproduce to unsafe levels. The temperature danger zone is 4⁰C-60⁰C, within this range bacteria grows easily and rapidly. Remember keep food hot above 60⁰C and cold food below 4⁰C. Whenever you are in doubt of the safety of food, throw it out. The online food safety course provides you with the essential knowledge required in preventing food-borne illnesses. The online food handler course is not only designed for people working in the food industry but is beneficial for practicing food safety at home. Click on the online training tab to [...]

Temperature Danger Zone 2019-05-28T15:12:06+00:00

Is raw cookie dough one of your guilty pleasures? Beware flour recall

2019-05-28T15:14:16+00:00

Is raw cookie dough one of your guilty pleasures? Do the kids love to lick the cake batter from the bowl and mixing spoons? Well you may want to re-consider giving in to these sweet temptations because of e.coli contamination!   The CFIA has issued a recall first on Robin Hood flour, however it has spread to other brands. The main concern with the recall is the consumption of the flour in its raw/uncooked state. As well as the spread of the pathogen in the flour to other surfaces and equipment in the kitchen E.coli lives in the intestines of animals and humans. It is commonly associated with under-cooked beef, specifically ground beef it can also found in contaminated water. Its transmission can occur through improper cooking temperatures, cross contamination, poor hand hygiene and ill food handlers. However in this case, it is possible for the soil to be contaminated by an infected animal or rodent that walks through a wheat field and defecates [...]

Is raw cookie dough one of your guilty pleasures? Beware flour recall 2019-05-28T15:14:16+00:00

Benefits of Food Handler Certification

2019-05-28T15:15:46+00:00

Food handler certification is a great way to guarantee your customers get the best food possible. There are many benefits for the employee and the employer. We all know that being part of a food borne illness outbreak can have multiple negative outcomes. The best and most effective way in preventing food borne illness is by getting the proper knowledge to serve safe food.  Food handler certification is required in multiple provinces across the country. A few benefits of the food safety training are provided below: Job qualification: Increase your likelihood of becoming hired. Obtain a provincially recognized certificate that is valid for five years. Learn how to prevent food-borne illnesses. Increase chances of passing inspection. Increase awareness of food safety. Decrease likelihood of causing illnesses or outbreaks. Increase customer confidence in your service. It is important to know that the responsibility to serve safe food belongs to everyone in the establishment.

Benefits of Food Handler Certification 2019-05-28T15:15:46+00:00

Humber College Food-borne Illness

2019-05-28T15:17:56+00:00

Food-borne illness is serious and it is unfortunate that it usually is only brought to our attention after a significant outbreak, like what is currently unfolding at Humber College - North Campus. The number of people who have affected by the outbreak at Humber College has risen to nearly 200 as officials fight to understand its cause, Toronto Public Health said Saturday. As the illness was first brought to the public's attention on Thursday, Humber College is doubling their efforts in cleaning and sanitizing, while members of the community are double their efforts of personal hygiene, such as handwashing! The Probe It Food Handler Certification course provides various details about the the many types of food-borne illness, their causes, and preventive measure that should be taken. Although the causative agent in this outbreak  has not yet been identified, it is likely to be a virus.Viruses are very small micro-organisms that do not multiply on food. Viruses multiply by growing in a living cell. A [...]

Humber College Food-borne Illness 2019-05-28T15:17:56+00:00

Mandatory Food Handler Certification

2019-05-28T15:19:55+00:00

The most effective method for preventing food borne illnesses is through food handler education, because many of illnesses are caused by mistakes made by food service workers. This is why many provincial governments and local municipalities have legislation that makes food handler certification mandatory. In Alberta, the provincial food regulation requires: " A person operating a commercial food establishment must, at any time when there are 5 or fewer food handlers working on the premises, ensure that at least one individual who has care and control of the commercial food establishment holds a certificate issued by the Minister confirming that individual’s successful completion of a food sanitation and hygiene training program or a document that the Minister considers equivalent to such a certificate." Food Regulation 31, Sec 31(1) Additionally the Alberta food regulation requires: "A person operating a commercial food establishment must, at any time when there are 6 or more food handlers working on the premises, ensure that at least one member of [...]

Mandatory Food Handler Certification 2019-05-28T15:19:55+00:00