Food handlers in Mississauga, Ontario often experience a dilemma between choosing to take or not to take food safety training. The bottom line is this – if you work in food service, get food safety training. Health departments all over the Ontario province emphasize the importance of food safety in establishments that handle food, whether or not the food is served for free or sold with a price. Mississauga First Aid has food handler training programs available all week, through the year – sign up for one today!
Mandatory food safety training
Technically speaking, food handlers in Mississauga are not required by law to get a food safety license or training certificate. By-law 78-2010 (amended twice in 2008 and 2010) governs medium and high-risk food establishments, requiring them to have a certified staff member present in the facility at all times food is being handled. There is no specific number of staff members who have to be trained – this is decided by the health inspector in charge of licensing the facility to operate.
Canada and foodborne illness
Food safety training is the front line concept used to prevent contamination of food and the spread of foodborne illness. This is a must know for all people who work in the food business, not just direct food handlers but even managers and business owners. An establishment that practices safe food handling serves and/or sells food that is safe to be consumed by the public.
In Canada, foodborne illness affects approximately 4.5 million cases each year – that number doesn’t even include self-limiting cases that are mild and resolve with home management. It is clear that foodborne illness is easy to prevent. But why are there so many people affected by it?
Pathogenic substances: microorganisms and chemicals
The two most common culprits that cause foodborne illness are pathogenic microorganisms and chemicals. These substances contaminate food when food handlers do not practice hand hygiene, wear protective gear, or are sick. When the contaminated food is ingested by a consumer, there is a great risk that they too will fall sick.
Foodborne illness is not a formal diagnosis, rather it is a term used to categorize diseases acquired from eating contaminated food. The signs and symptoms of foodborne illnesses are very similar, which is why patients are typically diagnoses after complete blood work has been performed.
Signs and symptoms: appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and/or cramps
Mississauga First Aid
By training at Mississauga First Aid, a student gets to choose if he or she wants to take basic food safety training and if he or she wants to advance to second level food safety training. Before signing up to advanced food safety, the student has to have taken and passed the certification exam for basic food safety.
- Basic food safety – 8 hours long, introduction to foodborne illness and food safety
- Advanced food safety – 16 hours long, management of food establishments
- Refreshers – 4 hours long, basic and updated food safety training
Once a student passes the certification exam, he or she is awarded a training certificate or licence (which is renewed every five years).