Food Safety: Overlooked, But More Important Now Than Ever
On construction sites, certifications are law. Unlicensed staff operating heavy machinery without the proper training is a definite hazard and a cause for alarm for most contracting companies.
With such due diligence being paid to this industry, it can be easy to forget that other front-line workers require similar certifications in order to operate within their fields.
Consider the food and service industry – while not as glaringly dangerous as heavy equipment, improperly prepared or stored food can pose a serious threat. Every year it is estimated that one in six people suffer from food poisoning, with over three thousand fatalities occurring in Canada and the United States alone. These statistics, when coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic altering our perceptions of hygiene in general, prove that food safety is just as vital as its construction counterpart.
ProSafe First Aid has listed FoodSafe Level 1 as one of our core offerings for quite some time. It is one of our most popular and essential programs, and our instructors take pride in helping establish careers within the food and service industry. With September being National Food Safety Education Month, we thought we’d share some of the reasons why this program is so important:
1. Cleanliness is King
ProSafe’s program focuses on the dangers of foodborne illnesses, and also explores the importance of proper storage and preparation. Something as simple as neglecting to wipe down a countertop could lead to an entire restaurant falling ill, a fact that is hammered home throughout the course. The typical kitchen team is composed of many different members with a diverse array of roles – if even one of these individuals fails to follow cleanliness guidelines, disaster can ensue. FoodSafe Level 1 contains all of the information and training needed to make sure everyone remains protected.
2. It Keeps Businesses Safe Too
Few things are more detrimental to the longevity of a restaurant than improperly prepared food or unclean dining areas. Customers who send back food that smells ‘off’, or find a pair of dirty utensils, can easily spread their concerns through the World Wide Web. Bad Yelp! reviews can erode a restaurant’s reputation unbelievably quickly.
Since FoodSafe Level 1 is mandatory for all professions that involve handling food, business owners must practice due diligence to ensure that all of their staff are trained and certified. While negative feedback on the web can certainly be damaging, it pales in comparison to the damage health inspectors can cause upon learning that you employ un-certified workers.
3. Hygiene is More Important Now Than Ever
The Covid-19 pandemic has re-shaped almost every business in unparalleled ways. The food industry in particular has been rocked by sweeping changes and new regulations. One of the most critical features of FoodSafe Level 1 revolves around creating and maintaining hygienic spaces for patrons and kitchen staff. This section of the course is exceptionally vital in the post-Covid world, and is viewed as the gold standard for keeping restaurants operable and compliant. Professionals who are employed outside of the food and service industries can gain immense benefits from partaking in this program as well, as they can use their hygiene consciousness to benefit themselves, the people around them, and the spaces they occupy.
Although food safety may occasionally be overlooked, it is nonetheless one of the most important courses taught at ProSafe. If you are seeking a career in the food and hospitality industry, not only is FoodSafe Level 1 mandatory, but it is also important for one’s own safety. With National Food Safety Education Month just around the corner, the team at ProSafe First Aid is ecstatic to continue educating and informing the Lower Mainland about best practices.
If you have any questions, or are looking to book your one-day course, do not hesitate to reach out. Our FoodSafe Level 1 training is offered at all four ProSafe campus locations (Port Coquitlam, Richmond, Abbotsford, and Surrey.)