Safe Food Handling
Food safety is serious business. Whether or not you work in the food business or simply prepare food for yourself and your family, it is important that you practice safe food handling. While a lot of food safety basics are simply common sense, actual training is still needed to be adequately prepared.
Grande Prairie First Aid offers monthly food safety training courses. There are two levels of training available, a basic course for direct food handlers and an advanced course for food business managers and owners. Both have different program lengths and cost differently.
Food Safe Level 1
The first level of food safety is a basic course created for people who directly handle food. In the food business, there are frontline workers – e.g. servers, cooks, dishwashers, and cashiers. Basically anyone who handles food is encouraged to take this program.
This course is eight hours long.
Food Safe Level 2
The second level of food safety is an advanced course for food business owners and managerial staff members. It is a longer program, focused on teach trainees how to run a food business. To enroll in this course, you must first take Food Safe Level 1 and have a valid certificate for it.
This course is twelve hours long.
Food Safety Certification
A food safety certificate is granted to all students who complete training. It is valid for five years before it needs to be renewed. Grande Prairie First Aid certificates are accepted all over Canada, not just in Alberta. To renew your credential, you need to sign up for food safety refreshers, which are update courses for the basic and advanced courses. You may take refresher courses sooner, if you wish.
The reality of foodborne illness
Food safety training is strictly enforced in a medium and high-risk food facilities. Without safe food handling, food becomes easily contaminated with microorganisms and other pathogenic substances. When ingested, contaminated food can cause foodborne illnesses; foodborne illnesses affect more than four million Canadians each year.
Foodborne illness is not just one disease; it is a category for different diseases caused by eating contaminated food. Symptoms for FBIs typically include all, if not most, of the following:
- Upset stomach
- Stomach pain/cramps
The danger of foodborne illnesses lies in severe dehydration, which is the effect of persistent vomiting and diarrhea. FBIs are typically self-limiting, so adequate hydration at home is vital. Severe dehydration needs to be medically managed in a hospital or medical facility.
Enrollment for either food safety classes can be done below, using the online form. Our offices are open from 8 in the morning to 5 PM if you wish to enroll in person. Online enrollment is much more accessible (available 24/7) but slots are only confirmed during the next business day – which is why a lot of students take the time to enroll at our facility in person.
Complete schedules can be found below; remember to enroll early because slots run out as early as two months in advance.