Module 1: Introduction to Food Safety and Sanitation

Updated: Jan 6

Food protection and sanitation must be thoroughly understood when functioning in either home or commercial cooking areas. This module will cover essential food safety details, making for a more effective employee or home-cook.

Food safety in a company environment is not just your obligation, but everyone's obligation. Employees accepting food shipments must verify that they are safe. The employee handling the food must take proper safety precautions. Employees packing or serving food must make sure the food remains safe. Food safety in a work environment is a collaborative endeavour, and through operating as a collaborative, consumers and staff can be protected and the restaurant can maintain its reputation.

Customers are the most concerned about food safety. Global polls indicate that consumers deem food safety more critical than product quality. Customers like to ensure their food is safe from wherever they can eat food or buy food. Awareness of food safety is also a means of strengthening repeat business within a food service operation.

This module provides food and safety training that can also be applied in domestic environments. Protecting yourself and your relatives is as critical as protecting consumers. Many methods by which people prepare food, including within household, may be hazardous. Therefore, poor habits will become much more harmful at work. Whether at work or at home, proper management of food to avoid food-borne illness is imperative.

When a person is taken to hospital with alleged food-borne illness, a representative of public health is notified, and incidents are mapped back to the restaurant that might have caused the food-borne illness. Any report submitted to public health requires a health inspector's evaluation to closely investigate the facility for any causes of food-borne illness.

However, as a food-borne illness victim, it is hard to determine who to condemn. If the consumer decides to sue the business, the restaurant might sue the supplier, and the supplier might sue the transportation service, for example. As the chef who prepared and distributed the customer's meal, you may also be held legally responsible for poor health and safety management.

The aim as cooks is not just to deliver a tasty and unforgettable meal, but to secure the welfare of the customers and other employees. If a cook is oblivious to the fact that a dish may debilitate a customer for the rest of their life if poorly prepared, the cook should not operate in a professional capacity. It is the duty of all kitchen workers to ensure patrons' good health. Customers come to the restaurant, putting their confidence in the cooks' ability to keep customers safe. It is only possible to become an exemplary cook once able to confidently execute simple cooking skills and once skilled in food safety and sanitation. If a cook is convinced that no plate sent through the pass will jeopardize consumer welfare, it is appropriate to be considered a certifiable cook.

A comprehensive list of the resources used throughout the following unit:

British Columbia. Ministry Of Advanced Education. Foodsafe Level 1 Student Workbook. Victoria, B.C., Ministry Of Advanced Education, 2006.

Gisslen, Wayne. Professional Cooking for Canadian Chefs. Hoboken, Nj, Wiley, 2018.

Jankowski, Nicholas S, et al. Professional Food Manager Certification Training Coursebook, Version 1.0. Ann Arbor, Nsf International, 2002.

Labensky, Sarah R, et al. On Cooking : A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. Don Mills, Ontario, Pearson, 2018.

Margaret Spence Krewen, et al. Advanced.Fst : Food Safety Training in Canada. Toronto, Ont., Traincan, 2012.

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Food Safety: A Guide for Ontario’s Foodhandlers 2 Acknowledgment. 2014.