Training Standards for Food Handlers
Food safety training in food services and food retail in Canada is regulated by provincial or territorial authorities. The Food Retail and Food Services Regulation 1999 is complemented by the Food Retail and Food Services Code, amended in 2004.
Food safety training programs recognized by all provinces at the time of writing this (2009) are provided by NFSTP, TrainCan, Inc., ServSafe and FOODSAFE.
Food Retail and Food Services Regulation 1999
The Regulations specify that at least one employee working on the premises must hold a recognized food handlers certificate.
Food Retail and Food Services Code
The Code provides national guidelines, but not requirements, for food safety training for employees in a food service establishment. The Code defines a food handler as any individual working with unpackaged food, food equipment, utensils or food contact surfaces.
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) has published a guidebook entitled “Food Safety Code of Practice”, which is a more accessible version of the Food Retail and Food Services Code, intended to guide food service operators to achieve and maintain conditions that ensure food safety.
Some provinces have specific requirements for food handler training. Others leave the requirements to regional authorities.
Provinces/Territories that require food safety training in the food service sector (current in 2009):
- British Columbia
- Nova Scotia
Examples of regions/municipalites that have by-laws requiring food handlers to have food safety training (list is current in 2009; check your own area for up-to-date requirements) :
Provincial/Territorial governments without regulatory standards have been reviewing options. In areas without regulations and standards, food safety training is only recommended.
Uniformity in Training Standards
Training programs are currently subject to municipal and/or provincial interpretation. Efforts have been made to synchronize food safety training programs for the benefit of uniformity. For example, the National Food Safety Training Program (NFSTP) started in 2004 to support members of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
The required level of on-site training differs from place to place (i.e. one out of five employees should have a Food Handler’s Certificate during operations at any one time, etc.). Depending on the province, a certified examination may be required, following training by an accredited company. Food safety training certification is generally valid for five years, although this also varies according to location. For specific details on provincial or municipal legislation in the food service sector, contact the agency/authority in your area.
Alberta Government. (2006). Alberta regulation 31/2006: Public health act – Food regulation.Retrieved from http://www.qp.gov.ab.ca/documents/Regs/2006_031.cfm?frm_isbn=0779746295 Available at: http://www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfm?page=2006_031.cfm&leg_type=Regs&isbncln=0779746295&display=html 2012-07-31
Canadian Food Inspection Agency. (2008). Restaurant and food service inspection in Canada. Retrieved from http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/concen/restaure.shtml
Canadian Food Inspection System. (2001). Model regulations and codes. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cfis.agr.ca/english/regcode/codes_tbl_e.shtml Archived information available at: http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/206/301/cfia-acia/2011-09-21/cfis.agr.ca/english/indexe.shtml 2012-07-31
Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. (2008). Regulation and inspection. Retrieved fromhttp://www.crfa.ca/research/resources/healthandsafety/regulationandinspection.asp
Foodsafe (2008). Home page. Retrieved from http://www.foodsafe.ca/
Government of Nova Scotia. (2008). Food hygiene training courses currently recognized by theNova Scotia food hygiene training review board. Retrieved from http://gov.ns.ca/agri/foodsafety/hygiene_courses.shtml
Health Canada. (2006). National guidelines for food safety training programs in the food retail and food service sectors. Retrieved from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/pubs/hpfb-dgpsa/fd-da/nat_guide_train_01-eng.php Available at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/pubs/hpfb-dgpsa/fd-da/nat_guide_train_tc-tm-eng.php 2012-07-31
Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie. (n.d.) Hygiene and food safety training session. Retrieved from http://www.ithq.qc.ca/hygienesalubrite/index_en.php
National Environmental Health Association. (2008). NEHA food safety training: protecting environmental health through education. Retrieved from http://www.nehatraining.org/states/canada.htm
National Food Safety Training Program. (2008). Home page. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nfstp.ca/
Sasketchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology. (2007). Food service worker: distance learning. Retrieved fromhttp://www.siast.sk.ca/virtualcampus/educationtraining/hospitality/foodservice.htm Available at: http://www.siast.sk.ca/programs_courses_descriptions/FSWAPCERTX.shtml 2012-07-31
Date modified: 2012-07-31