Food Safety - It's in Your Hands
Submitted by Joan Mays, CPHI(C), BASc
Supervisor of Health Protection Department
Food safety is critical, whether you are preparing food for yourself, for your family or for your customers.
Thousands of food poisonings occur every year in Canada. To help reduce the risk, the Health Unit offers courses to people who handle food as part of their job. This year, the Health Unit awarded food handlers’ certificates to 303 people.
Course material includes proper food handling techniques, temperature control, cross-contamination, hand washing and sanitary conditions of the premises.
Here are a few safety principles that should be applied everywhere that food is handled – even your own home.
- Know where your food comes from. Has it come from somewhere that has been inspected?
- Always wash your hands – before you start preparing food, after handling raw products, and when you have finished.
- Cold foods must be kept cold – below 4°C. Hot foods should be kept hot – above 60°C.
Public Health Inspector, Denis LeChasseur, shows a group of food handlers what problems to look for when storing food in cans. Just one of hundreds of things that participants learn at the Health Unit’s food handler certification course.