Having A Food Handling Certificate Makes You A Better Worker

Halfway around the world, a meat processing plant gets shut down, closing its doors, laying off workers, outraging politicians, and keeping some doctors busy helping patients recover from E. coli symptoms. While most patients who suffered after consuming tainted meat survived, (there were several deaths attributed to the outbreak), the politicians suffered under the scrutiny of the media and the voters’ demands for accountability; the processing plant suffered the loss of business due to the massive product recall; the processing plant’s workers suffered since they were put out of work, or took lower-paying jobs until the plant re-opened; the restaurants, cafes, and fast-food vendors suffered, along with supermarkets since they had less product to offer, customers turned away, scared, or searching for dietary alternatives. When one link in the chain breaks, the whole chain weakens—what can you do?  You can be a better food consumer as well as a more knowledgeable member of Australia’s food service industry.  If you are, or are thinking of working in commercial kitchens, cafes, school canteens, hotels, supermarkets, other food vendors, you need to obtain a food handling certificate. With your food handling certificate, you will know what to do on the occasion of tainted meat, food poisoning and other food borne illnesses.

Food Handling Certificate

Food has to be stored at the correct temperature to ensure its viability; Meals have to be prepared in clean, safe, food handling environments;  Raw and cooked foods have to be kept separated so cooked foods do not become contaminated. After you’ve earned your food handling certificate, you will be able to recognize the improper conditions, and know the correct steps and understand the reasons why your food safety supervisor is telling you how to proceed so that no customer gets ill from the food offered at your establishment. Just a small financial investment and a short period of time, (a suggested three hours, approximately) and you will be one step closer to being a safer worker in Australia’s food service industry. A food handling certificate is also required before you can take the food safety supervisor certificate courses.

A food handling certificate is one of the best ways to show that you have the training and the knowledge about food safety and the proper procedures for storing, handling, preparing, and disposing of food. You quite likely need to show that you have a food handling certificate before you can apply for most food handling jobs, even dishwashing, since sometimes a dishwasher can be asked to do some simple food preparation duties, such as peeling vegetables, or portioning ingredients. If you don’t have a food handling certificate and the business licensing inspector comes visiting your workplace, you might be warned, suspended without pay, advised to get the necessary certificate, or even fired. While it may only be food, it is still a serious business. Food borne illnesses can be quite costly to businesses, governments, and individuals.

Queensland’s meat processing industry, heavily present due to the proximity of cattle supply, is responsible for upwards of 40% of Australia’s red meat. Australia exports 60% of its meat production, primarily to Japan, the United States, and Korea. Thankfully, the Australian cattle industry is strong and continues to grow and well as successfully handle the challenges it faces. The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is one such example of Australia’s efforts to protect its well deserved disease-free cattle reputation. Halfway around the world, in North America, a meat processing plant is temporarily shut down until new hygiene guidelines and policies are installed, and unless strict regulations are not followed or enforced, a meat processing plant in Queensland is equally at risk for economic disaster.

Since workplace hygiene and the ability to follow such workplace procedures is a stringently regulated policy of Australia’s hospitality and associated industries you must obtain a Food Handling Certificate in order to secure employment in Australia’s exciting food handling industries. That includes all sorts of kitchens, whether in a restaurant, café, school canteen, hotel, fast-food vendor, or supermarket. A food handling certificate will prove to employers, co-workers, suppliers, handlers, inspectors, and yes, even customers, that you have the training and the most up to date and accurate knowledge about current food safety practices and the proper procedures for storing, handling, preparing, and disposing of food.
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About the Author:

CFTQLD’s food handling certificate course prepares you for a position in the food service and processing industry.  This course meets required government standards and is offered on line, in a classroom setting and by correspondence.

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