What goes in must come out: food safety and foodborne illness
Why there is a need for Food Safety Certification in Lethbridge? Food is a substance we ingest to give us energy and nutrition. Without food, humans – and every other living being – would not be able to survive. Hence, the quality of the food we eat greatly affects our health. If food is contaminated by dangerous pathogens and chemicals, it can make the person eating it sick with foodborne illness. A person infected with a food-related disease typically experiences vomiting and diarrhea, along with nausea, stomach cramps, and abdominal pain.
But how does food become contaminated? Food becomes unsafe to eat because of improper handling. That means food service workers do not wash their hands, sanitize the workplace, or thoroughly clean and cook the food. All of these things contribute to food becoming unfit for public consumption.
To prevent a foodborne illness outbreak, the Food Regulation Public Health Act of 2006 in Alberta was drafted. Establishments not covered by the act are the following: bed and breakfasts, market stalls, temporary food stalls, social care facilities with less than ten clients, stores that only sell pre-packaged products.
Public Health Acts in Lethbridge
The public health act mention governs food establishments in the process that directly handle, package, and serve food. Places that only sell pre-packed products and low-risk food items like candy are not covered. According to the act, certain members of the staff need to be trained and present at all times in the establishment.
- One trained employee (non-supervisory) if there are less than six employees working
- One trained supervisory staff if there are more than five employees working
As you may notice, not all service workers are expected to receive training and certification. However, you may be chosen by the managerial staff as the employee who is trained in food safety and sanitation. In Alberta, food safety training is not mandated but highly encouraged by Environmental Health Officers and Public Health Inspectors.
Note: In high-risk production facilities, a permit is not typically granted unless all employees have received food safety training.
About Your Training Credentials for Food Safety Certification in Lethbridge
Credentials from Lethbridge First Aid do not expire nor do they have to be renewed. Food service workers are only required to get updated training every five years to meet the requirements set by the public health act. Updated training is available as well at Lethbridge First Aid, called refreshers. They are short, single-session programs for certified food service workers.
Enrolling a class
Lethbridge First Aid has a website that was created for our prospective students. It has a complete list of classes, schedules, and training rates/fees. It also has an enrollment form available all day, which you can fill out and use to submit your personal and course information. The form is quite popular among our younger students, and students who work, because they can sign up when they are available.
Other ways of enrollment are telephone call, e-mail, and in-person (during business hours). We encourage our students to enroll using whatever method is most convenient for them.