The holidays are quickly approaching, bringing with them traditional gatherings with family and friends featuring the usual holiday foods. For those responsible for meal preparation around the holidays, it’s important to know what foods pose potential food safety problems and how to handle them safely. Knowing the five problem foods will help you avoid a food poisoning nightmare scenario this holiday season.
Food Safety Market Blog
A blog with articles related to food handler certification and education on food safety related issues.
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Developing and implementing an effective food safety training program is essential to any business that deals with food, but it can present some challenges. Some of the challenges Food Safety Market has seen when performing our food safety training in Canada include a lack of uniformity regarding country-wide regulations and legislation, a lack of access to proper training, obligation to completing required courses, and a lack of engagement.
In a recent CBC report on food safety citations that were handed out in Montreal, language barriers were cited as an obstacle by the head of Montreal’s food inspection department.
In this article, language barriers are cited as a major reason why some food safety citations were handed out in Montreal.
"We have neighbourhoods where we have a challenge, sometimes caused by a language barrier, we have trouble getting our message across," she said, pointing to areas like Parc-Extension, Saint-Laurent, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Côte-des-Neiges, Chinatown and Verdun. But, in these neighbourhoods, we also have excellent restaurants, impeccable.”
-Myrta Mantzavrakos, head of Montreal food inspection department
While many things can make a food safety expert twitch, one thing that will do it every time is saying the word “buffet”. The additional food safety hazards that accompany buffet service are well worth paying attention to. Nobody wants to make guests sick, and disease-causing bacteria have a habit of multiplying exponentially at room temperature once they take root in food.
When we’re handling food, we may pay special attention to expiry dates on dairy products and practice safe handling with meat, but the recent recall of Robin Hood flour nationwide illustrates how we should never regard any food product as “safe”, either at home or in a food service operation.
There are many reasons that food safety training pays back companies that invest in it. A study undertaken by Safe Food Canada, ROI of Food Safety Training in Canadian Companies, had a look at some of the hard numbers to look at how food safety training was paying back to companies that invested in it across Canada. It was the first study of its kind in Canada, and was released in February of 2016.
If your restaurant has an outdoor patio there is nothing more enjoyable for your guests than dining al fresco.
Add an outdoor cooking station to the mix and your clientele can also enjoy watching your talented chefs prepare their meals.
But summer’s warm humid temperatures are perfect conditions for bacterial growth – making it the perfect breeding ground for foodborne illnesses. The Government of Canada estimates that there are 4 million cases of foodborne illness each year, but with a few simple safety tips your outdoor patio can be a safe, delicious place for your guests to dine and enjoy the beautiful Canadian summer and fall.
Allergies are coming back into the picture in a big way. In 2015, one of the largest surveys conducted on the subject revealed that one in 13 Canadians has a serious food allergy – 7.5% of children and adults. Conscientious restaurateurs, food service operators and chains already have some systems in place to help ensure that their allergic diners don’t accidentally eat something they shouldn’t.
The best way to handle allergens is with a holistic approach where everyone in your business is aware of allergens and how to handle them in food preparation and service.
Chipotle went to market with a unique strategy for a fast food chain: use fresh, local, and in some cases organic ingredients to create a unique experience for customers. Its vision and marketing tapped into the current anti-fast-food zeitgeist, and it worked. Chipotle became America’s “healthy” fast food option.
But in 2015 the filling started to fall out of Chipotle’s burrito. A total of five outbreaks occurred in its stores across America, with a number of customers coming down with E. coli poisoning, norovirus, and salmonella poisoning. The culprit was, obviously, a lack of attention to food safety procedures. It quickly became clear that the company’s culture was not focused on food safety or transparency in the wake of the earlier outbreaks in July and August. By the time the outbreaks occurred in the fall, Chipotle was in full crisis management mode as its company stock dropped 30% in the course of one month.
Health Canada recently updated its MICROWAVE FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES. With over 4 million cases of food poisoning per year in Canada, both commercial food service workers and consumers can benefit from more education on how to make sure the food you are reheating in the microwave is safe.