Food Safety

Food Handler Behavior – Be Mindful of Bad Habits


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 Habits2019-05-28T15:05:49+00:00

Food Handler Behavior – Follow Proper Tasting Methods


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 Methods2019-05-28T15:09:50+00:00

Temperature Danger Zone


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 Zone2019-05-28T15:12:06+00:00

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


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 recall2019-05-28T15:14:16+00:00

Benefits of Food Handler Certification


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 Certification2019-05-28T15:15:46+00:00

Humber College Food-borne Illness


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 Illness2019-05-28T15:17:56+00:00

Mandatory Food Handler Certification


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 Certification2019-05-28T15:19:55+00:00

Food Safety – Who’s really responsible?


The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates approximately 1/8 (4 million) of Canadians acquire food-borne illnesses each year. Food-borne illnesses cost Canadians approximately $12-$14 billion each year. Food safety is required by law and is the responsibility of everyone in the establishment – the owner and the employees. As food handlers, it is your responsibility to know the law and to follow them. Having proper training and becoming a certified food handler can help your establishment in delivering and providing the best customer satisfaction in the food industry. Register now for the Probe It Food Handler Certification course to: Increase your knowledge in food safety laws Increase your awareness of food-borne illnesses Increase your knowledge of proper food handling Increase your knowledge of proper cleaning and sanitizing requirements Teach you how to protect yourself, your family, your customers and your job.  

Food Safety – Who’s really responsible?2019-05-28T15:22:29+00:00

Food-borne Illness – A High Price to Pay


    Food-borne Illness is when contaminated food or water is consumed. Contamination can occur from food, the environment, or from the food handler either directly or indirectly. Food-borne illness can be devastating to the person affected and to the establishment implicated. It can cost thousands of dollars and may even result in death. DID YOU KNOW: Four million Canadians suffer from food-borne illness and receive medical attention EACH YEAR! (Health Canada) A High Price To Pay The cost of a food-borne illness occurring at an establishment is a high price to pay. Here are just a few negative outcomes that result in food-borne illnesses: Negative media exposure Possible lawsuits and legal fees Insurance premiums Staff missing work Cost of re-training staff Decrease in customer sales Bad reputation Decrease staff morale   Food-borne illness do not usually get reported because it resolves itself within a few days. However, there are members of our population that can be severely affected by food-borne illnesses, including young children, [...]

Food-borne Illness – A High Price to Pay2019-05-28T15:24:30+00:00

Food-borne Illness – Last thing you ate?


Symptoms are not always associated with the last food product consumed. Symptoms may appear as early as 30 minutes or as late as several days after consuming contaminated food. DID YOU KNOW: Headaches can be a symptom of a food-borne Illness! Food-borne illness can have numerous symptoms. More common symptoms include diarrhea, vomit, stomach cramps and nausea. Food-borne illness can also manifest as a headache, muscle pain, fever, fatigue and weight loss. Death, as previously mentioned, can also be a result of a food-borne illness. So remember, if you or someone you know experiences food-borne illness, ask yourself "What did I eat in the last 5 days?"  

Food-borne Illness – Last thing you ate?2019-05-28T15:25:54+00:00