Food Safety

3 Everyday Food Safety Myths You Should Toss Out


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 [...]

3 Everyday Food Safety Myths You Should Toss Out2019-05-13T14:12:37+00:00

How Proper Food Safety Positively Impacts Your Profit


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 [...]

How Proper Food Safety Positively Impacts Your Profit2019-05-13T14:13:15+00:00

5 Food Safety Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Germ-Free


Practicing good food safety habits is paramount to maintaining a healthy kitchen. In this post, we'll review a few simple steps you can undertake to maintain food safety in your kitchen to keep you safe from germs. #1: Wash Your Hands This is the golden rule for cleanliness. Wash your hands early and often while cooking. Whenever you handle raw food you should wash your hands directly afterward. Always keep hand soap close to your kitchen sink for this specific purpose. #2: Disinfect Your Cutting Board Your cutting board is often the resting place for raw meat. Once you've finished cooking, disinfect your cutting boards. It's easy to forget your cutting board needs disinfecting as you serve dinner. Once the cooking is complete you often overlook this step. But to ensure no pesky bacteria lingers, make sure to wipe this down afterward with a disinfectant. #3: Take Your Garbage Out Often Several pathogenic bacteria usually end up in the garbage. After every cooking session, take [...]

5 Food Safety Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Germ-Free2019-05-13T14:13:48+00:00

How to Ensure Food Safety at Home


Depending on how you handle your food, it can be either be a nutritional meal or recipe for intestinal disaster. This is why it is important to practice food safety throughout the food handling process; from purchase and storage to cooking and serving. Ignoring the basics of safe food handling can result in you and your family suffering from foodborne illnesses. Consider the following tips for food safety: #1: Observe Cleanliness This point is the first for obvious reasons. Wash your hands properly before handling food. Always use soap to rid bacteria found on your hands. Do not use a kitchen towel to dry your hands, rather, use a disposable paper napkin to eliminate cross-contamination. Clean the surfaces, utensils, and chopping board often. The bottom line is, ensure everything that gets in contact with your food is clean and sanitized. #2: Cook to the Right Temperature How well do you cook your food? Most bacteria thrive between 4°C to 60°C (40°F to 140°F) which [...]

How to Ensure Food Safety at Home2019-05-13T14:14:24+00:00

August 2016: We Changed Food Handler Certification Forever


Throughout the years as a Public Health Inspector, I have been instructing food handler training and certification courses and I’ve noticed two things: Many clients would have to take a day off work, usually without pay. They commuted hours to attend the session. I was amazed at the demand and need for the course, what astonished me even more… this was the norm! It was common (and expected) for clients to do this in order to get their food handler certificate! As I begin the course, I provide clients with a quick overview of the day and also provide clients with an opportunity for questions. The only question without fail at this point of the course are all related to when the exam will be taking place (i.e. the conclusion of the course). “When will we be done?” “When will we start the exam?” “Can I do the exam during lunch?” “Can we skip breaks/lunch and get through all the material and leave earlier?” [...]

August 2016: We Changed Food Handler Certification Forever2019-05-13T14:15:03+00:00

Online Food Safety Training – “How do I choose the right course?”


Most food handlers and food safety professionals can almost all agree that the in-class food safety training and certification can be long, boring, and inconvenient. This is why people have decided to search for new options of becoming certified – ONLINE. Now the question remains “How do I choose the right course?” DO NOT CONSIDER COST AS YOUR MAIN DECISION FACTOR Have you ever heard the expression “ You get what you pay for”?  When choosing an online course provider it is important not to only consider the cost of the course because you will be facing the same issues that you have tried to avoid – boring, inconvenient, cheap quality, poor development! You do not want to compromise your learning experience and waste your money. It is important to remember the food handler certificate is very necessary for gaining the essential skills required to prevent food borne illness. You do not want to be buy into the “cheapest course” advertisement scheme… because you [...]

Online Food Safety Training – “How do I choose the right course?”2019-05-28T14:51:21+00:00

2017 Has Been a Busy Year in Food Safety


2017 has been a busy year in food safety. The principal federal agency with regards to food safety is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The CFIA is responsible for inspecting and regulating federally registered food production facilities. CFIA also issues food recalls and removal of products from shelves. The CFIA classifies recalls based on the level of health risk associated with the food product being recalled. In 2017 alone the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued 155 recalls and issued close to $400,000 in fines! In recent weeks there has been a lot of media attention on food recalls and outbreaks of food borne illnesses such as: Deadly E. coli outbreak linked to romaine Dozens of brands of ice cream bars recall for Listeria Kirkland Signature brand All Butter Croissants recalled from certain stores in Ontario due to possible presence of plastic. PC brand Sweet Chipotle Prepared Mustard may be unsafe due to possible presence of glass Food handler knowledge is the key [...]

2017 Has Been a Busy Year in Food Safety2019-05-28T14:55:19+00:00

Importance of Food Handler Training


[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 Training2019-05-28T15:00:27+00:00

Food Handler Behaviour – Clean Hands


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 Hands2019-05-28T15:02:13+00:00

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


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 Food2019-05-28T15:04:17+00:00