Things Every Food Handler Should Know

Food BuffetAccording to global statistics by the World Health Organization, one in 10 people falls sick each year from consuming contaminated food. A whopping 420,000 die from these foodborne diseases. If you are a food handler, your customers trust you with not only their food but also their life.

Here are five things you should know that may help you prevent foodborne diseases.

What is a food handler?

You are a food handler if you work in the food business and you handle food or surfaces that may come into contact with food. Food handlers usually make, cook, prepare, serve, pack, display and store food.

They can also be involved in extracting, collecting, producing, processing, manufacturing, transporting, delivering or preserving food.

Training is essential

Food handlers should be knowledgeable about their health and hygiene responsibilities. While food safety legislation varies between jurisdictions, a food handler’s certificate – a service offered by firms such as Australian Institute of Accreditation – is useful to everyone in the food business.

Food allergies are on the rise

Food allergies are a fast growing food safety issue. As a food handler, you do not want a customer to have a reaction after eating your food. Some training on food allergies can help you handle your customers’ food allergy questions or requests and correctly prepare allergen-free meals.

There are six secrets to safer food

Food handlers can minimise the chance of food contamination if they:

  • Keep everything clean.
  • Never mix raw and cooked.
  • Cook thoroughly.
  • Store food at recommended temperatures.
  • Use clean, safe water and uncontaminated raw materials.
  • Take leave if they have a skin injury or sore or feel unwell.

Preventing foodborne disease is a must

Foodborne diseases outbreaks can be a public health nightmare. Fortunately, proper hygiene and right preparation, handling and storage of food can help prevent these diseases.

People can avoid many illnesses and deaths if all food handlers have access to food safety education. Such training will make food handlers appreciate their important role in safeguarding public health.

Training will also help them know how to grow and handle food safely, store and cook food properly and make smart decisions that protect health.