Food Handler and Food Safety Certification in Canada

Food Safety and Sanitation in Red Deer

Foodborne illness is one of the most dangerous problems the World Health Organization is tackling today. Diarrhea, a complication of the illness, is responsible for over two million deaths all over the world. More than four million people are affected by it in Canada, a dangerous number for something that could’ve been easily prevented. Most of these cases are never reported, since foodborne illness is largely self-limiting. That means, it usually resolves within a few days to a week.

Food service workers who work in Red Deer, Alberta, are not governed by any acts or laws that require them to receive food safety training. However, all food establishments in the area are expected to have a number of staff members who are certified in food safety and sanitation. Get certified today by signing up for our food safety courses.

The Public Health Act: Food Regulation

The Alberta Public Health Act on Food Regulation requires one trained employee for a certain number of staff members present in the establishment. If there are more than five employees on duty, the trained employee has to be a supervisor. If there are less than six employees on duty, the trained employee can either be a regular staff member of a part of the supervisory staff. That means you are not required to get certified for food safety before you look for work.

However, the Public Health Inspectors and Environmental Health Officers get the final say in how many employees should be trained in food safety. If the establishment or the food prepared is high risk, all food handlers might be required to get training and certification. Contamination can occur at any point in the food handling process, and pathogens and chemicals that end up on food can greatly harm a person’s health.

Foodborne illness

Foodborne illness is not one thing, it is a term used to describe illness from ingesting contaminated food products. They are usually characterized by the following clinical symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Diarrhea

Because the symptoms are typically found in most foodborne illnesses, it takes a blood test to specifically diagnose the condition. According to the WHO, the most common pathogens that infect humans are the:

  1. Norovirus
  2. Campylobacter spp.
  3. Clostridium perfringens
  4. Salmonella
  5. Staphylococcus aureus

The Norovirus is responsible for 58 percent of the total cases of foodborne illness recorded each year. When it comes to hospitalization, the leading cause or pathogen is non-typhoidal salmonella, making up 35 percent of cases. The Norovirus comes second, at 26 percent. This is because the Norovirus is hard to diagnose, even with blood work, because the lab test is not widely available in hospitals.

Food training credentials

After training at Red Deer First Aid, food service workers are awarded credentials. These certificates do not expire, unlike other provinces in Canada. We do ask that trainees remember to sign up for refreshes every five years, because that is mandated by the public health act. You may also sign up for refresher sooner than five years, if you feel the need to.

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