Food Safety Certification in Calgary
Learning food safety is a must-do for food service workers – especially in Calgary, Alberta. The Alberta Public Health Act on Food Regulation governs all food establishments in the city that handle food or process it. Bed and breakfasts, farmers’ market stalls, temporary food stalls, care facilities with less than 10 clients, and stores that only handle packed food are not covered by the act. Food service workers in the establishments that are governed by the act are required by law to train in food safety and sanitation.
You can visit the Calgary First Aid website, designed to showcase all the classes we have available, if you need training and certification in food safety. We also have classes on first aid and CPR, if you are interested.
Other ways of enrollment are telephone, e-mail, and visits in person. We encourage any of the methods that is the most accessible to you and our other prospective trainees.
The Food Handling Process
Food safety should be apart of each step of the food handling process. The process starts from buying the raw products to packaging and service. If a food service worker is untrained in safety and sanitation, there is a greater risk of contamination of the finished product served or sold to consumers. Food that is contaminated by infectious microorganisms and chemicals can lead to widespread foodborne illness (FBIs) – a dangerous condition that is closely monitored by the Calgary local health authorities.
The concept of infection control plays a large part in food safety. Microorganisms that are infectious typically end up on food because the food service worker failed to perform proper hand hygiene and wear protect equipment, such as gloves, masks, and protective eye gear. The food service worker themselves may have been sick with an FBI or been in contact with someone who is.
Pesticides are part of another concept – sanitation. Produce that is grown in large quantities is usually treated with pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals that are usually harmelss, but they can be dangerous if ingested in large amounts. If raw produce is not washed properly, pesticides can remain on them as they are packed and consumed.
Calgary First Aid training courses cover all these concepts, focusing on skill-building, planning, and management for food safety and sanitation.
Food safety certificates in Alberta do not expire (unlike other provinces in Canada). However, local health authorities require all food safety-certificate holders to sign up for refresher courses every five years at least. However, this is not strict, and you may take refreshers sooner than five years (but not later!).
Getting started: Protection from FBIs
Basic skills in food safety should not only be practiced in the workplace, but also at home. Remember these tips to protect yourself and your family from foodborne illnesses.
- Perform hand hygiene adequately. Hand hygiene (hand washing and hand rubbing) should be done for at least 20 seconds.
- Wash all surfaces and utensils in food preparation before and after use. Don’t just use water – remember to clean with antibacterial soap.