Banner vector created by pch Feel like 20 seconds is too long to wash your hands? Think again. 80% of the spread of common infectious diseases are credited to your hands. With the novel coronavirus being spread in much the same way, handwashing is not only critical to health and hygiene but an effective preventive measure from being infected. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that it takes about a minute to wash your hands properly from start to finish, and PROBE IT’s food handler course goes over these crucial six steps. Below are some of the tips included in our course on what to do and what to avoid to practice proper hand hygiene. MAKE SURE YOU: Use warm water: Wetting your hands before applying soap is necessary so that you can get a nice lather. Otherwise, the soap will not go anywhere. Warmer water is more effective in getting a better lather according to chemist Bill Wuest, which is our next point. [...]
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Restaurant photo created by freepik Learning all you can about using bleach? Everyone has become more aware of disinfecting with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, with cleaning supplies running out throughout grocery stores. Cleaning your home, a section of a restaurant, or an entire facility is definitely a serious responsibility and can get overwhelming with all the information out there. Food handlers who have taken our online course and implement our food safety practices, however, have no need to panic because they already know how to best keep things clean inside-out, and coronavirus free. Before you run out to buy industrial-grade bleach, you should know that cleaning with soap and warm water can be just as effective while being more practical. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that soap disables the outer oily-like layer of the 2019-novel coronavirus, effectively killing it. This is especially important for dishes and other food utensils, which come into contact with people’s mouths as they eat. The steps [...]
Health photo created by freepik The world has come to a metaphorical and literal standstill in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. The number of total confirmed cases has already reached four hundred thousand as we finish the first quarter of 2020. With a high infection rate and potentially serious symptoms, food service businesses have been scrambling to adapt. Don’t pull out those N95 masks just yet! Your customer’s safety can be solved much more simply. Our COVID-19 Food Safety Series is Probe It Food Safety’s effort to help guide food safety managers, handlers, and the general public on how to use food safety principles to protect themselves, their businesses, and their families. More detail on all of these preventative concepts can be found in our online food handler course. First, let us focus on how food handlers can help prevent the transmission of the 2019 novel-coronavirus itself. Although transmission of the coronavirus directly through food has yet to be confirmed by the [...]
Food poisoning seems to be the catch-all term for our bodies’ reaction to contaminated food. But there are many different kinds of “food poisoning” ranging from mild to severe. Some of us may not take safe food handling seriously, but the reality is that some foodborne illnesses can cause major health issues that could cause great harm or even death. Here are the most common foodborne illnesses, according to the CDC, and brought to you by Probe It Food Safety. Norovirus Considering that the norovirus comes from vomit and feces, it’s unsettling that this germ is the leading foodborne illness, more-so that restaurants are its number one source. Symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, stomach pain, headache, general aches and pains, dehydration Method of Transmission: small traces of vomit or feces enter your mouth, usually through contaminated food. If someone with the virus doesn’t wash their hands before preparing food; if your food is grown in contaminated water without being properly washed; or, if surfaces [...]
If you read that title expecting to find the magic cure to stop everyone from being allergic to your food, we’re sorry to tell you that it’s impossible. You can do everything to protect your customers from biting into something that they shouldn’t, but in the end, your customer is also responsible for getting tested for allergies and staying vigilant about reading the list of ingredients. It’s your responsibility to keep your customers away from harmful ingredients by following these essential steps: Separate Your Cooking Utensils If you cook using the major food allergens like gluten, peanuts, and shellfish, we highly recommend using completely different cutting boards, knives, utensils, cookware, and even appliances. It might seem like overkill, but once you realize that some allergies are so bad that even the smell of an allergen can cause someone to go into anaphylactic shock, you understand that it’s an expense that could save lives. Warn Patrons Before They Walk In This costs nothing more than [...]
Want to get serious about food safety? Then it’s time to take a look at your kitchen. It doesn’t matter if you have the most expensive non-stick pans money can buy. Here are five indispensable food safety kitchen gadgets that are worth their weight in gold. #1: Thermometer Most of us know what the perfect steak looks like. Whether you like it blue, medium, or well-done, you can tell the second it’s ready by its inner colouring—except that, we can’t always trust our eyes. It’s more important to eat meat that is cooked than to eat meat that looks the right colour, which can lead to a wealth of consequences, food poisoning being the most obvious one. A meat thermometer is an easy and inexpensive way to guarantee your meat is cooked through. #2: Shallow Containers If you often cook enough food to store leftovers, the best way to keep your food safe is to divide them up into smaller portions and pack them [...]
The words children and sanitation don’t really go together. Our kids aren’t afraid to put anything in their mouths, whether it’s germy hands or some foreign object they find on the ground. While their bravery and curiosity about how the world tastes can be admired, it’s also one of the reasons our children are constantly getting sick. Teaching our kids to cover their nose when they sneeze or cough is important. Teaching kids about proper food safety is just as essential. Here’s how to educate your children about proper food handling in a way that’s age-appropriate and easy to learn. Make it Fun At young ages, children take to information much faster when there is an element of fun attached to it. For instance, we all know our ABCs because we sing them the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” And some of us may remember bright and colourful flash cards that helped us learn how to add and subtract. Think of fun ways [...]
An estimated 4 million Canadians get sick from foodborne illnesses every year. Bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other pathogens can cause stomach discomfort, fever, and even more severe symptoms. An estimated 4,000 people are hospitalized each year due to foodborne illnesses. If you work in the food industry, it's crucial that you take the following steps to keep your food safe: Sanitize Everything Make sure you’re practising proper hygiene. Start with making sure that your employees are properly washing their hands before handling food and using gloves. Sanitize all countertops, sink faucets, and utensils regularly with safe disinfectant. Keep the Food Fresh It's crucial that you only use fresh food. Check expiration dates regularly. Don't leave food outside of the fridge if you don't need it right away. Make sure every employee understands stock rotation, how to correctly store ingredients so that the items with the latest expiration dates are sent to the back of the fridge. Store the Food Properly Storing your food properly is crucial [...]
With so many “food handling experts” online, you can easily adopt a wrong food practice. A simple online search about food safety, like “tips to ensure food safety,” will give a million results. Sieving facts from food safety myths can be difficult, which is why you should only trust the experts with a triple star guarantee. Otherwise, you may land in serious hot water. Myth #1: Freezing Kills Bacteria This is one of the most popular beliefs, but it’s wrong. No matter how low you keep the temperature, you cannot kill bacteria. Low temperatures only make the bacteria inactive. When the food is thawed, the bacteria revive and thrive on the favorable temperature, causing food-borne illnesses. You can only kill bacteria by heating your food to higher temperatures. If you’re cooking meat, for example, ensure you keep it hot held above 60°C (140°F) before serving it. Myth #2: Once Food Changes Colour, it’s Safe to Eat One mistake that most people in food service make [...]
Did you know that food-borne illness affects four million Canadians annually? That's one in eight of us coming down with some type of food poisoning. Yes, the cause may sometimes be external, and we are just unlucky. The romaine lettuce recalls that seem to plague us are perfect examples, but there may be many other reasons closer to home for getting sick. Does your company have a food safety training program in place to prevent being the cause of illness? Employees must wash their hands before touching food. As unbelievable as it seems, employees who handle foods do not always do so after toileting, changing diapers, handling animals, cleaning floors, handling money, etc. Many times, it is because they are rushed, but whatever the reason, it is simply something all employers have to enforce. Putting a safe food wellness program in place saves you money in several ways. Consider the expense of several people getting ill after eating at your facility due to your [...]