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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

Who can be Described as a Food Handler?

According to some reports, many food businesses are unsure who can be described as a food handler.

A Food Handler is anyone who works in any type of business that handles/stores food whether they are full-time or part-time members of staff, seasonal or occasional workers or voluntary staff members.

 

Who can be Described as a Food Handler – Required Competencies

All food handling employees should be competent to handle/manage food depending on:

 

Food Handling Levels as per FSAI Guidelines – Level 1

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has developed food safety training guidelines divided into three levels. We’ll cover the Level 1 here.

The Level 1 specifies the standards expected of employees who have been working for less than three months in a food business. This level is split into two stages.

So Level 1, Stage I describes the food safety skills required of staff before they handle food in any food handling premises. Even though food handling staff have had training at this stage, they will require supervision to ensure that they are demonstrating good food safety practices.

You can compare the food safety training with getting a driving licence. The training is the same as driving licence – you need to know the rules before going to the road, or in the case of food safety training, to the kitchen. You need this foreknowledge, but once on the road, or in the kitchen, you must obey traffic signs and road laws, i.e. food safety rules for safe food handling. The training is just a permit to go on the road/to the kitchen and once there you have to follow strict rules to make sure that your environment is safe for you and for those around you.

 

Essential Food Safety Skills at Level 1

The following is a list of the 9 food safety skills that food handling employees should be able to demonstrate before starting to work in a food handling business:

  1. Wear and maintain uniform/protective clothing hygienically.
  2. Maintain a high standard of hand-washing.
  3. Maintain a high standard of personal hygiene.
  4. Demonstrate correct hygiene practice if suffering from ailments/ illnesses that may affect food safety.
  5. Avoid unhygienic practices in a food operation.
  6. Demonstrate safe food handling practice.
  7. Maintain staff facilities in a hygienic condition.
  8. Obey food safety signs.
  9. Keep work area clean.

Having been trained to Stage 1 before starting work, Stage II provides information on what your employees need to know after they have been working in food handling premises for a month.

 

Additional Food Safety Skills at Level 1

The following is a list of the 11 food safety skills to be demonstrated by food handling employees at this stage:

  1. Demonstrate legal responsibility in ensuring safe food for the consumer.
  2. Recognise how food can be made unsafe by biological, chemical, physical or food allergen hazards.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of cross-contamination and the hygiene practice necessary to prevent it.
  4. Explain the difference between high and low-risk activities.
  5. Avoid unnecessary handling of food, food utensils and surfaces.
  6. Record the temperature of food as required.
  7. Keep appropriate food safety records.
  8. Keep pests out of the food operation and operate a satisfactory waste disposal system.
  9. Take action when aware of unhygienic practices that may put the safety of food at risk.
  10. Co-operate with authorised enforcement officers.
  11. Check deliveries appropriately.

Remember! There is a legal requirement – Regulation (EC) 852/2004 that all food handlers undertake food safety training commensurate to their duties.

 

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-who-can-be-described-as-a-food-handler

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

Causes of Food Poisoning

Whilst Easter can be a truly enjoyable and joyous occasion, at the same time it can easily  turn sour due to various causes of food poisoning.

 

Bacterial Causes of Food Poisoning

While viruses cause some food poisoning cases, most result from bacterial contamination. Bacteria are tiny living structures that can only be seen with a microscope. Most bacteria are harmless but some can cause disease. If present in food, some of these disease-causing bacteria can cause food poisoning.

Where are these bacteria found and how do they get onto food? They are found everywhere; in soil and water as well as on people, animals and food.

Raw products, especially raw meats, poultry and fish, may contain dangerous bacteria. Bacteria on raw foods may then be transferred onto other food such as cooked or ready-to-eat foods during food preparation or storage. This is called cross-contamination.

People carry bacteria on and in their bodies, on their hands, face, nose and in their stomachs. Food handlers can transfer bacteria onto food if they don’t wash their hands after using the toilet or if they touch their faces or hair while preparing the food. Customers, like food handlers, can contaminate food by sneezing or touching food on display.

Pests such as insects, pets, birds and rodents can all carry bacteria and may contaminate any food they touch.

Dirty food premises harbour bacteria on dirt and food particles which can contaminate the food being prepared.

 

Cross-Contamination as a Cause of Food Poisoning

Cross-contamination – Food handlers who handle food incorrectly during preparation can spread bacteria and contaminate food directly by:

Food handlers may also spread bacteria and contaminate food indirectly by:

You can find further useful information on preventing food poisoning and other food safety relevant information on the FSAI and SafeFood websites.

 

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

Prerequisite Programmes (PRPs)

All food handling businesses must have in place Prerequisite Programmes (PRPs). PRPs are good hygiene practices that are the basic conditions and activities necessary to maintain a hygienic environment. In addition, any food handling business must also consider maintenance of the cold chain and allergen control when putting PRPs in place.

 

Complying with the HACCP Requirements

Depending on the complexity of a food business operation, PRPs may be all that is needed to comply with the HACCP requirement. Furthermore, it may be possible to control hazards with PRPs alone. For example, if a food business carries out low-risk activities, all the hazards may be controlled by the Prerequisite Programmes (PRPs). In this case, there is no need for the application of a full food safety management system based on the principles of HACCP.

For more complex food businesses that involve the preparation, manufacturing or processing of food, PRPs are the basis of a Food Safety Management System (FSMS). The Food Safety Management System has to be based on the seven principles of HACCP. A PRPs can be implemented by:

  1. following a recognised guide to good practice appropriate to a food business, or
  2. developing procedures based on the principles of HACCP if required.

 

Hazards Controlled by Prerequisite Programmes (PRPs)

The majority of hazards can be controlled by PRPs. These can be the foundation for the HACCP based procedures to implement. Once PRPs are in place, your HACCP based procedures will focus on controlling the steps in a business. These are critical to ensure the preparation of safe food.

For more information on the various options for complying with the HACCP requirement see Guidance Note No. 11 Assessment of HACCP Compliance (Revision 2).

 

Prerequisites Include Where Appropriate

Prerequisite Programmes (PRPs) include the following:

 

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