Food Handler and Food Safety Certification in Canada

Food Safety and Sanitation in Ottawa

The big deal with food safety

In Canada, 4.5 million people get sick with foodborne illness each year. FBIs – short for foodborne illness – are incredibly easy to prevent, but so many people still get infected with them because of unsafe food handling. Bacteria and chemicals remain on food (or grow on food) if the food handler doesn’t practice proper cooking, storage, and service. Food handling is a very delicate process; food handlers who do not wash their hands or wear protective gear increase the risk of the finished food product being unsafe for public consumption.

Foodborne illness is relatively mild and self-limiting, resolving in a few days with oral rehydration management at home. However, the condition can become severe if the symptoms persist over several days. In cases like these, the person usually has to be brought to the hospital for intravenous fluid management.

Signs and symptoms of foodborne illness

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Loss of appetite

The danger with vomiting and diarrhea is the increase risk for dehydration, a dangerous condition that can deprive the body from much needed blood and oxygen. For healthy adults, these symptoms are easy enough to manage at home but for very young and very old victims who are more prone to dehydration, medical management might be the best option.


Food safety at Ottawa First Aid

According to the Ontario bylaws on mandatory food safety training, all medium and high-risk food facilities are required to have a certified food service worker present/on-duty at all times. Technically speaking, food service workers or food handlers are not mandated by law to get food safety and sanitation certification. However, because food facilities are mandated to have certified staff members, you may be chosen by your employer to train and get certified in food safety.

Aside from our regular classroom training courses (level 1 and level 2 food safety), we also offer students a chance to self-study the food safety coursework. Sometimes we get students who work during the day or are still in school and cannot take time off to attend the regular 8 to 4 classes. By simply buying our workbooks and choosing a date for the certification exam, they can study at their own pace.

Food safety credentials

Upon completing the coursework, students take the certification exam in order to receive their food safety training credential. The certificate is valid for five years from its first issue. In order to keep your credential valid for another five years, you have to take a refresher class (a shorter version of the basic food safety course) and another certification exam.


Enrollment is pretty straight forward at Ottawa First Aid. Just visit our website and you’ll find an online interactive form you fill up and submit online; no downloads necessary. We process all requests during business hours so expect a reply during that time. You may contact us via e-mail, telephone call, or in person! Just visit our location during business hours so our staff will be able to accommodate you.

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