Food Safety and Sanitation in Edmonton
Edmonton First Aid in Alberta is one of the most affordable and accessible training locations in the province. We offer quality courses on food safety, sanitation, and even first aid and CPR. With the incidence of foodborne illness rising each year, all establishments in Edmonton are required to have trained employees in food safety and sanitation. If you work in food service and need certification and training, you can visit our website for complete details (schedules, fees, and available refreshers).
Food safety, sanitation, and foodborne illness
The reason for food safety training in Edmonton is to decrease the number of cases of foodborne illness in the city. When food establishments do not follow the safe food handling process, their products become unsafe to be sold or consumed. Pathogens and chemicals can end up on food products if they aren’t safely prepared, served, or stored. These two substances are the most common cause of foodborne illness.
Pathogens are microorganisms which can cause infection when ingested or absorbed by the body. The most common pathogens that cause foodborne illness are the Norovirus, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, and E.coli. Typically, chemicals like pesticides remain on food if produce is not cleaned adequately. If you ingest these substances you may experience vomiting and diarrhea, symptoms that can lead to severe dehydration if they persist for more than a few days. Other symptoms include nausea, stomach pain, and abdominal cramps.
Food Regulation Act
According to section 31 of the Food Regulation Act in Alberta, food establishments are required to have:
- One trained supervisor present when there are more than five employees working during a shift.
- One trained employee (who doesn’t have to be on the management track) present where there are less than six employees working during a shift.
The public health act governs food establishments not food service workers. That means food service workers are not mandated by law to get trained before they apply to jobs. However, once they have been hired, their employer can require them to get food safety training so the establishment can meet the requirements set by the act.
Before food establishments can open for business, they need to get a health permit from the city. Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) are responsible for inspecting establishments and granting them health permits. They can require establishments to have more employees trained in food safe (compared to what the public health act requires) – even the whole staff, so it is better to be prepared.
Certificates and refreshers
We award all students who finish and pass the training course with a food safety credential. In Alberta, certificates do not expire (unlike other provinces in Canada). However, the law requires all food service workers holding food safety credentials to enroll in refresher classes every five years. If you think you need an update course sooner, you can apply to one sooner.
Getting started: Hand washing
The WHO emphasizes the importance of infection control through proper hand hygiene – that includes hand washing and hand rubbing with a sanitizing product.