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Importance of Food 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

 

Selling or Advertising Food Online

Selling or advertising food online has become a norm nowadays. However, before anyone decides to sell or advertise food online they have to make sure to research any relevant food safety laws.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has developed a Selling or Advertising Food Online leaflet with essential information for all those who are selling or advertising food online (including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages). Although published in 2017, this is a relevant guide that lists the mandatory information you must provide to the consumer when selling food online.

 

Selling or Advertising Food Online Guide

The guide makes it clear that if a food business sells or advertises food online, they are responsible for the food information provided to their customer and must comply with relevant food law. The guide goes on to highlight key areas which food businesses selling or advertising online should address, including:

Although this leaflet focuses on the rules for selling food online, the rules also apply to food sold or advertised by any other means of distance communication.

 

Meeting the Requirements

Any food supplied through distance selling must meet the same information requirements as food sold in a physical premise e.g. a shop. The Regulation defines “means of distance communication” as “any means which, without the simultaneous physical presence of the supplier and the consumer, may be used for the conclusion of a contract between those parties”.

Common methods of selling food by means of distance communication include:

 

If you sell food online, you must comply with the relevant food law. The main purpose of food law is to ensure that food available for consumers to buy is safe. It also requires food businesses to provide consumers with the necessary information about food, so that they can make an informed choice at the time of purchase. Food law prohibits the use of misleading information.

To find about requirements for selling or advertising food online please refer to this Selling or Advertising Food Online leaflet published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

 

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

Storing Food After Delivery

Storing food after delivery is very important when food safety is considered and the food should be stored as quickly as it can be put away. For instance, in a previous eLearn Safety blog post Receiving Food Delivery from 19th January 2024 we talked about the importance of proper and planned handling of food deliveries. Most importantly, it is very important to note that once the food is accepted from delivery operators it should be unpacked from the outside packaging before storage. In addition, frozen foods should always be stored first. It is extremely important to remember that raw meat and ready-to-eat foods should be handled and stored separately. All food handling staff should be competent and trained in safe food handling. An easy and convenient way to achieve this is by taking one of eLearn Safety fully online Food Safety courses.

 

Plan for Storing Food After Delivery

Never tightly pack food in storage areas. For instance, food should always be kept at least 15cm above the floor and at least 5cm away from the walls. This is because it will make cleaning and pest inspections easier.

In addition, keep records of all food temperatures. If you observe high temperatures, report this immediately to the Supervisor/Manager. This can be the result of a delay in storing food, allowing it to warm up to room temperature. Such delays can be avoided by having allocated time slots for staff to store food correctly.

 

Contamination is Dangerous

Food contamination is very dangerous! You must remember to:

 

Stock Rotation

Stock rotation is important when we talk about storing food after delivery. Therefore, you should always practice a FIFO system (First In First Out). In addition, you should label each item so that anyone who would check for these items knows when it was delivered and its shelf life. For instance, never sell food that has passed its Use-By date and make sure that all the correct storage requirements are followed.

For additional information about Use-By and Best-Before dates please check eLearn Safety blog entry Shelf-life of Food Products from 10th March 2023. In addition, you might find some very useful information on Teagasc website and their page Shelf Life of Food Products from 9th January 2022.

 

Basic Storage Rules

Always remember to:

 

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

Hand Washing for Food Handlers

Hand washing for food handlers is an essential aspect of cleanliness and hygiene. When it comes to food hazards, food handlers are potentially one of the biggest risks in terms of food safety. However, to extend this, hand washing is not important only in a food preparing environment, but in a domestic one as well.

 

Hand Washing at Home

According to a research by BMC Public Health, Denmark tops the ranking when hand hygiene of consumers is looked into. According to a study Hand hygiene practices during meal preparation—a ranking among ten European countries, the ranking is as follows: Denmark, Greece, Norway, Romania, Hungary, Germany, UK, Portugal, France, and Spain. However, the overall conclusion of the study was that the hand washing is often done incorrectly by skipping areas of hand when washing, or washing one’s hands not long enough. Unfortunately, this is also true when handling risky food such as raw chicken. According to the study, the young families and pregnant women are most likely to neglect a proper hand washing technique. On the other hand, the elderly individuals generally do not wash their hands when required.

 

Hand Washing for Food Handlers – Why is it Important

Most likely, the single most important activity in the food preparation area is proper hand washing. Hands are used for everything – scratching your nose, touching your phone, keys, emptying bins, handling cash, and finally touching the food that is being prepared. It is incredibly easy to cross-contaminate food just by using unwashed hands.

Food workers have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that they do not contaminate food. One of the characteristics of a good food worker is a positive attitude towards hygiene and a willingness to help maintain a high standard at the workplace. Hand washing is at the top of hygiene importance.

Food hygiene legislation places a legal responsibility on food workers, proprietors and visitors to maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness.

Keep the body clean – Food workers should wash or shower daily to remove the layers of dirt, dead skin, sweat and bacteria that build up on the body which can be passed onto food.

The law requires that:

Want to learn more? Explore eLearn Safety fully online Food Safety (HACCP) Level 1 course.

 

When to Wash Hands

Hands can never be washed too often, but they can be washed not often enough. This is especially important when hand washing for food handlers is in question. Always aim to wash your hands:

The main point to take is – Wash Your Hands regularly!

 

Hand Washing for Food Handlers – How To Steps

Hands must be washed at a wash hand basin supplied with running hot and cold water. Liquid bacterial soap and an approved means of hand drying should be used. The hands, front and back and the gap between the thumb and forefinger must be washed using a rubbing action. It is not satisfactory to run fingers under the tap and then to dry hands on uniforms.

To learn more watch the below video prepared by SafeFood.net titled How to wash your hands properly.

 

Hand Washing for Food Handlers – Why Does it Matter?

Hand washing for food handlers is extremely important as correct hand washing will remove bacteria such as E. Coli and salmonella. Bacteria on the hands have an ideal environment, They have food, moisture and a temperature of around 37°C allowing speedy reproduction and a higher risk of infection. This is why hands must be kept meticulously clean at all times.

 

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