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Handling Food Safely

Handling Food Safely

Handling food safely for consumer use is not only a moral obligation – it is a legal one! Each year thousands of people get seriously ill due to food poisoning. Some of these people may die. Those most at risk include the very young, the elderly, people who are already ill and pregnant women.

The spread of food poisoning bacteria can be prevented by good food handling practices and by maintaining good personal hygiene.

 

Handling Food Safely Examples

These are some of the examples of handling food safely:

 

Examples of Good Personal Hygiene

Good personal hygiene is one of the most important principles of handling food safely. These are some of the examples of good personal hygiene:

You can watch Hand Washing in the Hospitality video HERE.

 

General Handling Food Safely Advice

The following is general advice on handling food safely:

Be clean and tidy

Treat food with care

 

Food Safety Training

It is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity.

For this reason and to learn more about food poisoning and how to prevent it, the eLearn Safety has developed fully online food safety courses. These courses are designed to introduce participants to food safety and hygiene issues. In addition, all courses are based on the training criteria set down by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s Guide to Food Safety Training at appropriate level.

Afterwards, on completion of any of our food safety training courses, participants will be able to understand their requirements under Irish food safety legislation as well as following best work practices at appropriate level.

Likewise, you can find further useful information on how you can stop the spread of food poisoning bacteria and other food safety relevant information on the FSAI website.

 

Consequences of Poor Food Handling

According to the BBC some 113 people have become ill with E. coli in recent weeks in the UK. Experts believe it is most likely linked to a nationally distributed food item. According to the UKHSA the location of reported cases is as follows:

At the same time, in Ireland the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today reported that nine Enforcement Orders were served on food businesses during the month of May for breaches of food safety legislation.

Some of the reasons for the Enforcement Orders in May include: evidence of rodent infestation, including dead rodents in multiple areas, including under a fridge and under shelves on the shop floor; raw fish defrosting at room temperature in a dirty container on the floor of the kitchen area; accumulation of dirt, cobwebs and dead insects on floors; inadequate cleaning and a build-up of waste stored in a room next to toilets with foul odour and flies present; no hot water, soap or paper towels available at the wash hand basin in the staff toilet; absence of an adequate food safety culture particularly regarding training of staff.

 

Online Food Safety Training

Please remember – it is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity!

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Food Safety (HACCP) courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

elearn-handling-food-safely

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

Importance of Food Safety Training

Importance of food safety training in any food handling business is significant. Both consumers and those working in the hospitality and retail sectors are becoming more aware of the importance of food safety and implementation of HACCP based procedures. Part of the reason for this is when there is an incident of food poisoning, a large number of people may be affected resulting in serious legal issues, negative publicity and loss of livelihood. Owing to this, some businesses might be forced to close down.

 

Why is it Important to Train People in Safe Food Handling

It is the legal responsibility of everyone involved in the food sector to carry out their food-related activities in a hygienic manner. This applies to all food handling areas. In summary, these include food service, food wholesaling, food retailing and food processing. Each year there are 4000 – 5000 reported cases of food poisoning in the island of Ireland. However, the actual figure may be considerably higher than this. This is owing to many people with mild symptoms do not report these symptoms. To illustrate, the FSAI report from 2022 states that there were 4,058 complaints from consumers in 2022. About 1,200 were relating to unfit food and more than 1,100 each due to poor hygiene standards and suspected food poisoning. In other words, food poisoning concerns almost doubled from the 622 received in 2021.

Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is illness caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms, including bacteria, viruses and parasites, or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning. Infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point of processing or production.

To learn more about food poisoning and how to prevent it, the eLearn Safety has developed fully online food safety courses. These courses are designed to introduce participants to food safety and hygiene issues. All courses are based on the training criteria set down by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s Guide to Food Safety Training at appropriate level.

On completion of this food safety training course, participants will be able to understand their requirements under Irish food safety legislation as well as following best work practices.

 

Consequences of Poor Food Handling Practices

Food poisoning symptoms, which can start within hours of eating contaminated food, often include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Most often, food poisoning is mild and resolves without treatment. However, some people need to go to the hospital. In addition, food poisoning is especially serious and potentially life-threatening for young children, pregnant women and their fetuses, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

In any case, to prevent food poisoning, these essential principles should be adhered to:

Remember, it is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity!

 

Online Food Safety Training

Please remember – it is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity!

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Food Safety (HACCP) courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

 

Importance of Managing Food Allergens

Importance of Managing Food Allergens in any food handling premises is significant. It is reported that approximately 3% of adults and 5% of children in Ireland have food allergies (IFAN, 2020).

Many people are allergic to certain foods. You must always be aware of all the ingredients contained in the food served by your kitchen. For example, many pre-prepared foodstuffs such as ice-cream contain eggs, and other foods contain traces of nuts. Be very careful when garnishing food, because even if a pre-prepared food type is allergen free, if it is garnished with chopped nuts it can become fatal to certain people.

 

How to Manage Food Allergens

All members of staff should be trained in allergen awareness and observe the house rules, and everyone should be able to recognise the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Of course some restaurants serve shellfish and dishes containing nuts, and the key here is awareness: the staff must be aware of food ingredients and the customers likewise. It is very important that your supplier provides complete ingredient information and alerts you when any changes are made. It is also very important to listen carefully to your customers. If an allergy sufferer asks for information about the ingredients of a certain food it is essential that you understand them completely so that you can give an accurate response. Never guess!

eLearn Safety offers a fully online Management of Food Allergens course. The course is designed to introduce participants to understanding food allergens and management of associated risks. On completion of this food allergen training course, participants will be able to understand their requirements under Irish food safety legislation as well as following best work practices.

 

The 14 Allergens

The EU has a list of 14 food allergens that you must declare the presence of if they are used as ingredients in your food (FSAI, 2024).

  1. Cereals containing gluten – wheat (such as spelt and khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats. Note: The cereal name, e.g., ‘wheat’, must be declared and highlighted, not ‘gluten’.
  2. Crustaceans, e.g., crabs, prawns, lobsters.
  3. Eggs.
  4. Fish.
  5. Peanuts.
  6. Soybeans.
  7. Milk.
  8. Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia/Queensland nut). Note: The name of the nut, e.g., ‘almond’, must be declared and highlighted, not ‘nuts’.
  9. Celery.
  10. Mustard.
  11. Sesame seeds.
  12. Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/L in terms of total sulphur dioxide) – used as a preservative.
  13. Lupin.
  14. Molluscs, e.g., mussels, oysters, squid, snails.

 

Why is it Important to Manage Food Allergens

Allergies can cause an anaphylactic shock, which is life-threatening.

The symptoms include:

As noted earlier, if someone suffers these symptoms you must render immediate medical attention and call an ambulance.

 

Online Food Safety Training

Please remember – it is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity!

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Food Safety (HACCP) courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training