Food Safety Certification in Edmonton
Alberta and Food Safety
Alberta is one of the provinces in Canada that hold food safety and sanitation at a very high regard. There is actually a public health act that is targeted towards Food Regulation in Alberta, governing all food establishments and the food service workers they employ. Section 31 of the act requires that all food establishments in the province have members of the staff trained in food safety and sanitation. These staff members (at least one) should always be present in the establishment.
- A supervisor trained in food safety must be present when there are six or more staff members on duty.
- A staff members (non-supervisor) trained in food safety must be present when there are five or less staff members on duty.
These guidelines are very strict, and requiring all food establishments who handle and prepare food to follow them. However, you may notice that the establishments are governed by the act, not all food service workers in Edmonton, Alberta. That means a food safety training certificate is not mandated by law; food service workers are merely encouraged to have them.
Food safety and sanitation credentials
Edmonton First Aid grants training credentials to all students who are able to finish their enrolled classes. Unlike other places in Canada, credentials in Alberta do not expire. Instead, service workers with credentials are required to update their training at least every five years. If you want to get updates sooner, you can enroll in a refresher courses earlier than five years.
All credentials awarded to our students are valid all over Edmonton and the province of Alberta.
Signing up for training courses
Our programs at Edmonton First Aid (click here to view the website) are focused on each step of the food handling process. One of the main concepts we teach our students is infection control, because the transfer of microorganisms between the food service worker and the food product is the most common causes of foodborne illness (FBIs). Pathogens (infectious microorganisms) typically end up on food because of a sick worker, or a person who has been in contact with someone who is sick. Chemicals like pesticides, on the other hand, end up on a finished product because the produce is not cleaned adequately.
The most common pathogens that cause foodborne illness (according to the WHO) are the following:
- Norovirus (responsible for approximately 58 percent of FBI cases)
- Clostridium perfringens
- Campylobacter spp.
- Staphylococcus aureus
Another list is for the most common pathogens that result in hospitalization due to FBIs. The top five are:
- Campylobacter spp.
- Toxoplasma gondii
- E. coli
Getting started: Special precautions for avoiding FBIs
Like other diseases, there are certain groups in the population that are at a higher risk for FBIs. Pregnant women, older persons, and very young children are at a greater risk for becoming infected because of their compromised and/or immature immune systems. These people should avoid eating uncooked food, particularly poultry, dairy, and meat. Raw produce should also be washed thoroughly, especially if you buy them from markets that use pesticides.