The Goal of Food Safety Training
When food establishments have employees trained in food safety (dubbed FOODSAFE in British Columbia), it lessens the risk of their consumers acquiring a foodborne illness. The term foodborne illness is used to describe a disease that is caused by the ingestion of contaminated food. Improperly handled food can become a breeding ground for bacteria or be contraminated with poisonous substances such as chemicals.
These substances, either pathogens or chemicals, when ingested by a human can cause a cascade of mild to severe gastrointestinal symptoms. However, they may also cause systemic reactions such as organ damage and death if the substance was dangerous enough. Systemic reactions that end in death are typically seen in poisonings. With proper training, this can all be avoided.
What exactly do I learn from FOODSAFE training?
The term FOODSAFE is used throughout Surrey and the province of British Columbia to refer to food safety training and certification. The program was funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labor Development, in order to serve as a nationwide training program for food safety. The program itself is handled locally by the BC Center for Disease Control and the BC Health Authorities – they make sure that the training programs in different providers offer the same level and quality of food safety training.
In a food safety training program, the focus of the curriculum is proper food handling. That involves all the steps from food storage to service and packaging. It emphasizes the need for proper infection control and sanitation, especially for employees who are front-line service workers (people who handle food directly).
How many programs are offered at Surrey First Aid?
Surrey First Aid has two levels of FOODSAFE training available. The first level is a skill-oriented program that is targeted towards front-line service workers. The second level is a planning-oriented program that is targeted towards administrative employees. Both levels are focused on proper food handling, sanitation, and work safety.
- FOODSAFE 1 – eight hours for 110 dollars
- FOODSAFE 2 – twelve hours for 165 dollars; FOODSAFE 1 is a pre-requisite for this program
- FOODSAFE correspondence – six months for 85 dollars or 110 dollars for eight months
- Refreshers – three hours for updates and certificate renewal (price upon request)
As you can see from the list, we have a correspondence program option. Training by correspondence is ideal for working students who have jobs during the day or night and cannot attend regular class schedules. They are not fixed to a specific schedule, instead, they have to finish the training program in six months (or eight months with an extension). Other options include face-to-face classroom training or online, via a virtual classroom set-up.
Getting a head start: Food safety at home
Food safety should not only be practiced in food establishments. We encourage students to practice their skills and enforce food safety concepts in their own homes. Sometimes, contaminated food bought from markets and groceries can actually be cleaned thoroughly at home. Be sure to wash raw vegetables even if they look clean and to refrigerate any raw meat that isn’t going to be cooked immediately.