Food Handler and Food Safety Certification in Canada

Food Safety and Sanitation in Kelowna

The Food Regulation Act in British Columbia

Are you a food service worker in British Columbia? If you are, you have to know about the Food Regulation Act. It is a public health act that covers safety and sanitation in all food establishments in the province, including Kelowna. The regulation act requires that there should always be a staff member trained in food safety present at the establishment, and if the assigned trained employee will not be present, he or she has to have a replacement. In light of this, most food establishments in the city require all of their employees to be trained in food safety and sanitation.


In accordance with the act, the food safety program was dubbed FOODSAFE all over the province of British Columbia. FOODSAFE is focused on the process of food handling and keeping it safe. Infection control plays a large portion in food safety, especially hand hygiene. Washing hands or rubbing hands with sanitizer is important in preventing the transfer of pathogenic microorganisms from the food service worker to the food to the consumer.

When training in food safety, you start with the first level (the only level required by the public health act). Training lasts for eight hours and will cost 110 dollars. The focus of the first level is building of basic concepts and skills in food safety – perfect for frontline service workers/food handlers. The second level of food safety training focuses on management and planning of work safety and sanitation, targeted for supervisory staff members. Training is twelve hours long and will cost 165 dollars.

Does my certificate expire?

Food safety training certificates or credentials in British Columbia expire after five years. In order to renew your credential, you have to sign up for refresher (also available at Kelowna First Aid). Refreshers last for three hours and cover the basics of food safety, plus any updates in skills and concepts. You don’t have to have an expired certificate to sign up for a refresher; we make them available to anyone with a food safety credential who wants an update.

Note: If you took the refresher class to renew your credentials, you have to take the exam at the end of the course and get at least 80 percent for a new certificate.

Getting started: Signs You May Have Foodborne Illness

FBIs – short for foodborne illness – is more commonly known as food poisoning. It is caused by ingesting a pathogen or chemical that has contaminated a food product. Pathogens are microorganisms that can cause disease, and usually end up on food when there is poor sanitation and infection control in the establishment. Chemicals such as pesticides sometimes end up in a finished food product if the raw materials are not adequately cleaned.

If you think you have eaten unsafe food, look out for the following symptoms of a possible foodborne illness: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, cramps, and diarrhea. FBIs are typically self-limiting, and with mild symptoms, only have to be managed at home. If you symptoms persist or become severe, be sure to seek medical help.

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