Food Handling and Food Safety Certification in Canada
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Food Safety in Windsor

A close look at foodborne illness

Foodborne illness (FBI) is a category of illness acquired through the ingestion of contaminated food. Food can become contaminated because of bacteria and chemicals, the two most common causes of foodborne illness. Bacteria ends up on food through transfer from the food handler or thrives on it when food is left out at room temperature for long periods of time. Chemicals, specifically pesticides, stay on food when produce is not washed properly. Even after cooking, the chemicals still remain on food and cause symptoms similar to a foodborne disease.

Bacteria are microorganisms that are the most common causes of foodborne illness. They thrive in oxygenated, warm, and moist environments – usually growing on food that has been left out in room temperature, by which time food becomes spoiled and unfit to eat.

The most common microorganisms that infect humans and cause foodborne illness are:

  1. Norovirus
  2. Campylobacter
  3. Clostridium perfringens
  4. Non-typhoidal salmonella
  5. Staphylococcus aureus

Note: The Norovirus is actually responsible for more than half of the total number of  cases, but is rarely officially diagnosed because the test for it is rarely found most hospitals and diagnostic centers.

Expect symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and appetite loss if you have been infected with a foodborne illness. These symptoms won’t last long (for mild cases), usually only a few days. If symptoms persist, seek medical help because you may be at risk for dehydration.

Food Handler Training at Windsor First Aid

Food safety training is mandated by the public health laws in Windsor. The laws govern all food establishments and the food service workers who are part of their staff, specifically requiring the presence of a trained and certified food handlers at all times in the establishment. Food establishments are any place where food is handled, whether or not it is sold or simply served for free.

Food handler safety training usually lasts a minimum of six hours to a maximum of nine hours. This is the full training course, inclusive of classroom-based training, workbooks, and the certification exam. Students can opt to buy the workbooks alone and self-study, paying only for the exam.

The program’s curriculum, of course, focuses on safe food handling practices. Topics include workplace sanitation, personal hygiene, and hand washing- a few of the most common concepts involved in safe food handling practice. Other concepts taught to students are basic microbiology and management of foodborne illness. All of these concepts are integrated into each step of food handling – buying the raw products, preparation, packaging, storage, and actually selling the food.

Registration

Registering for a training course with Windsor First Aid is easy. You can call, e-mail, or visit us in person during business hours for registration. But the most popular registration method among our students is online registration, via the Windsor First Aid website. You don’t even have to download anything. Just enter your information in the online form and click submit. We will process all requests during business hours, so expect a call from us by then.

 

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