A food handler safety certificate is required for anyone who works in the food industry. Food handler safety training is a must, whether you’re scanning a conveyor belt for weird-looking potato chips or working in the meat and poultry section of your local supermarket. It’s also a must for anyone working in the food service – that is, waiters, cafeteria attendants, cooks and chefs. Laws requiring food handler safety certifications are only practical considering that most people today either use processed food like frozen peas and carrots to prepare their meals or just skip the cooking and buy their meals cooked from a restaurant instead. While food poisoning in a single family is bad enough, the damage that one batch of spoiled hamburger from a neighborhood fast food could do is considerable.
Food handler license training often tells trainees how to keep themselves and their working environment clean. It involves hand-washing and personal hygiene tips as well as information on how to cook and store food. This includes keeping food at the right temperatures to maintain freshness as well as avoiding the food safety danger zones at which bacteria is able to multiply the fastest.
Of all the technological advances in food safety and storage, perhaps none is more vital than the freezer. Freezers allow food manufacturers, supermarkets and restaurants to stock large amounts of food without it going bad; that’s why food handlers should know exactly how the freezers work and what role they play in food safety.
First of all, it’s possible to freeze almost any kind of food except eggs in their shells or canned items. This doesn’t mean, however, that all foods emerge unchanged or unscathed from the freezer. Some products like mayonnaise or lettuce are rarely palatable after they’ve been frozen. Furthermore, freezing doesn’t actually kill all the microbes that you find in food. Food keeps in freezers because the low temperatures temporarily cause microorganisms to become inactive. Once the food thaws, then they can become active and cause spoilage.
Freezing will also keep food fresh and in optimum condition longer than simply refrigerating it. However, you’ll have to freeze your fruit, meat and vegetables while they’re at the peak of their freshness. This also ensures that the food retains most of its nutrients. Finally, in order to thaw frozen food safely with minimal danger of spoilage and contamination, you should thaw only in the refrigerator or microwave and avoid leaving food out on your counter for an undetermined period of time.