Food Safety Certification in Ottawa
Safe Food Handling in Ottawa
Foodborne illness is primarily caused by the ingestion of contaminated food. The responsibility for this lies with food establishments and the food handlers they employ. When food safety is not enforced during the preparation and handling of food, there is a great risk that the finished product has been contaminated by dangerous substances – commonly bacteria and chemicals (e.g. pesticides). Depending on the strain of bacteria or what chemical was ingested by the consumer, the symptoms of foodborne illness can be mild or severe.
Consumers who have ingested contaminated food products may experience the following symptoms, usually within the next six hours after ingestion. They usually last only a few days (around 3-4 days), but if they become severe or persist beyond a few days, make sure to seek medical help.
- Stomach pain
- Stomach cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
Foodborne Illness and Dehydration
The scariest thing about vomiting and diarrhea is a great risk for dehydration. Fluids and electrolytes are lost when a victim experiences these symptoms, which can lead to systemic complications such as hypovolemia (manifested by weak pulse, low blood pressure, and hypoxemia in the major organs). With mild cases of foodborne illness, oral fluid replacement at home is usually enough. In more severe cases, intravenous fluid replacement in a health care facility is needed.
When healthy adults get dehydrated, fluid replacement mentioned previously is adequate to stabilize their condition. However, when children (especially infants and toddlers) and older adults experience foodborne illness, it is much harder to manage their dehydration because they lose fluid too quickly, and sometimes fluid replacement can lead to fluid overload (too much fluid introduced intravenously).
Food Handler Training in Ottawa First Aid
At Ottawa First Aid, our most popular training course is the food handler training program. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care mandates food service workers in the city to get Certified Food Handler Training – a single-day training course that teaches students how to handle food safely. Topics included in the program are:
- Understanding Foodborne Illness
- Introduction to Pathogenic Bacteria
- Management and prevention of food contamination
- Personal hygiene and health
- Housekeeping and sanitation
Students can opt to enroll in a full course, inclusive of the workbooks and certification exam, or self-study. Students who want to self-study can simply buy the workbook and pay for the certification exam (at a schedule of their choice). If a student doesn’t buy a workbook but wants to take the certification exam, he/she has to present proof of completion of a food safety training program within the last year.
Registering for training
You may register for training on the Ottawa First Aid website. We have made an interactive form you can fill up on line (no downloads necessary) and submit to us (don’t forget to click submit!). We encourage students to visit the training location as well; we have very accommodating staff who will help you with your inquiries and registration.
Contact us through e-mail or telephone call – but expect to be accommodated during business hours only.