Food Safety in Thunder Bay
Food safety and sanitation training offered at Thunder Bay First Aid meets the requirements set by the public health authorities of Thunder Bay. You can receive certification immediately after finishing the course and passing the exam. While food safety training is not a requirement for food service workers, it is a requirement for food establishments in the city. The law requires that all food establishments have certified food handlers present during all operating hours.
If you need certification, simply registered for our food handler training course on the Thunder Bay First Aid website. You can register using the online form, which is interactive and can be filled up on the website. You can also register in person, through e-mail, or via mail. Payments are accepted in cash, credit, or cheque.
Certificates from food handler training courses are valid for five years, after which the student has an option of getting a renewal through a re-certification class or allowing the certificate to expire. We offer re-certification courses as well as Thunder Bay First Aid, just inquire about available schedules and full training fees.
Food safety and its importance
Food safety is a big deal, not just for food establishments but for any place where food is prepared – the includes your home. Food safety is a concept that should be present during the entirety of the food handling process – from preparation to storage. In our food handler course, we teach students how to perform hand hygiene, sanitize the workplace and cooking utensils, and similar skills and concepts.
We invite anyone with an interest in food safety to sign up for training, not just food service workers or college students enrolled in a food service course.
A full course will tackle the topics listed below (among others):
- Introduction to microbiology
- Prevention and management of foodborne illness
- Hygiene and health
- Cooking techniques
- Packaging and storing techniques
- Housekeeping and sanitation
- Personnel training
Food safety’s importance stems from the ability of safe food handling to decrease the risk of consumers acquiring foodborne illness. When ingested, food that is contaminated with bacteria and pesticides give rise to signs and symptoms of a foodborne illness (FBI). FBIs are not simply one kind of disease, it is a category for any disease caused by dangerous microorganisms.
Signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and cramps, and loss of appetite. In mild cases, these symptoms resolve in as early as three days.
Bacteria and viruses are the most common cause of foodborne illness. The top five being: (1) Norovirus, (2) Genus Campylobacter, (3) Clostridium perfringens, (4) Salmonella (except S. typhi), and (5) Staphyloccocus aureus. Noroviruses actually cause up for 58 percent of total FBI cases, but are rarely official diagnosed because the diagnostic test is quite uncommon.
More than 2 million people die each year because of diarrheal complications. In Canada, approximately 4.5 million people are infected with FBIs annually. These numbers are quite alarming, since FBIs are mostly preventable. While these statistics have gotten better over the years, food safety should still remain a priority in every food establishment and every household.