Food Handler and Food Safety Certification in Canada

Food Safety and Sanitation in Calgary

Food establishments all over Calgary in Alberta are required by law to have employees trained in food safety. There are many training providers all over the province, but among the best is Calgary First Aid. We have a variety of training courses available, at different schedules through the week. Because of our high quality courses and affordable training rates, we get an influx of students each year looking for food safety training. So if you plan on enrolling in one of our courses, sign up early! Our website has a list of all our courses, as well as an online sign up sheet for prospective students.

Foodborne Illness: Causes

Diarrhea – a symptom commonly seen in foodborne illness – kills approximately 2.2 million people each year. Vomiting, abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, and nausea are other common symptoms. Foodborne illnesses (FBIs) are caused by the ingestion of infectious substances like pathogens and pesticides. Contamination occurs when food handling is unsafe; the process of food handling starts from the procurement of raw produce, to the preparation, service, and storage of the finished product. If at any part of the process contamination occurs, the product is no longer safe for public consumption.

The pathogens that most commonly cause foodborne illness are:

  • Norovirus
  • Campylobacter
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Campylobacter spp.
  • Staphylcoccus aureus

Despite being hard to diagnose, the Norovirus is estimated to cause more than half of the total cases of foodborne illness, approximately 58 percent.  Salmonella (non-typhoidal) causes 35 percent of total cases of foodborne illness that ends in hospitalization. The Norovirus comes in at second, making up 26 percent of the total cases.

Food safety and the handling process

Safe food handling ensures that all parts of the handling process are safe and sanitized. Safety and sanitation are important aspects of the work done in food establishments, specifically infection control. Hand washing and hand subbing are both hand hygiene techniques that are very important in preventing the transfer of potentially-infectious microorganisms from the food service worker to the food they handle.

In a food safety program, you will learn knowledge, skills, and attitude. The program, initially for frontline service workers, also accept supervisory and managerial staff. Advanced courses target planning and management skills.


Calgary First Aid offers certification to all students who are able to complete the food safety course and pass all its exams. Certificates do not expire in the province of Alberta, but food service workers need to take refresher courses at least every five years. Workers who want to sign up for training earlier may do so. You can find a list of refresher courses on the Calgary First Aid website; they are basically training programs that serve to update workers on new skills and concepts in food safety and sanitation.

Foodborne illness kills approximately 2.2 million people in the world. Over 4.5 million Canadians are affected by it each year, with most cases not even being reported to the local health authorities. Remember to keep hydrated if you start experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, or seek medical help.

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