Food Safety in Toronto
The most popular course at Toronto First Aid is our Food Handler Certification Program. It is a program created in accordance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The goal of food handler training is to ensure that all food service workers in Toronto practice safe food handling skills, thereby decreasing the risk of consumers acquiring foodborne illnesses. The process of food handling has to be safe, from preparation of the product to storing, selling, or serving it.
Toronto Food Safety
Toronto First Aid grants food handling certificates issued by Toronto Public Health. The credential is valid for five years, renewable by signing up for a re-certification class (also offered at Toronto First Aid). There are different ways to get your training certificate:
- Full training course – The full course includes classroom-based lessons, workbooks, and the certificate exam. It is 6 hours long, followed by the exam given immediately after. If you belong to a large group of students (20 or more), you can arrange a private class at a location of your choice.
- Self-study – Self-study is possible by purchasing the food safety workbook and taking the exam at your chosen date. This is perfect for students who don’t have time to attend the full training course.
The full training course and workbooks focus on a safe food handling practice – that includes skills and concepts involved in the following topics:
- Causes of foodborne illness
- Basic microbiology
- Personal hygiene and health
- Sanitation and housekeeping
- Personnel training
Interested students can sign up for training on the Toronto First Aid website. We have an online (interactive) form you can fill out on the website. We also allow students to sign up over e-mail, telephone, or in person. The staff at our training locations are very accommodating; don’t hesitate to ask questions or make queries.
One of the biggest factors that contribute to foodborne illness is proper handwashing. If a food service workers handles food with dirty hands, the bacteria from his/her hands ends up on food. Similarly, if the service worker doesn’t perform proper hand hygiene in between touching raw and cooked food, the same can happen. Proper handwashing ensures that a person’s hands are clean from bacteria or dangerous substances that can cause disease-like symptoms.
Do you have foodborne illness?
If you have ingested contaminated food within the past six hours, expect to experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Upset stomach (pain, cramps)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
These signs and symptoms are more or less present in different cases of foodborne illness, even if they have different causes. The most common cause is due to disease-causing bacteria. Bacteria can end up on food from the food service worker or thrive on the surface if food was exposed to room temperature for a long period of time. The latter is usually the case with raw meat. Special cases of foodborne illness are from pesticides (chemicals) remaining on raw produce because they are not washed properly.