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Food Poisoning: Listeriosis

December 2nd, 2013 | Posted by Ibrar Ibrar in Food Safety Courses - (0 Comments)

Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning that is

caused by consuming foods that are contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. This bacteria is particularly dangerous once present in food because it is capable of surviving in the cold, even freezing, temperatures of the refrigerator. However, it can be killed by adequate cooking and pasteurization.

Causes of Listeriosis

The bacteria Listeria monocytogenes can be commonly found in soil, water and animal feces. The following are common sources of listeriosis infection in humans:

  • Eating vegetables that become contaminated from the soil or from manure used as fertilizer
  • Consuming animals and that carry the bacteria may contaminate their meat and other products
  • Eating process foods, such as soft cheeses, cold cuts, and hot dogs, that become contaminated after processing
  • Consuming unpasteurized milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk can cause contamination

Risk Factors for Listeriosis

Listeriosis affects thousands of people each year. Although anyone can get this infection, there are certain groups of people that are more susceptible to listeriosis infection that can easily turn very serious. These include:

  • Pregnant women (and consequently their unborn babies via the placenta)
  • Newborn
  • Elderly
  • Individuals with weak immune system or with chronic diseases

Signs and Symptoms of Listeriosis

Unlike many food poisoning causing bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes can have a long incubation period, which can range from three to 70 days. The infection itself can last from days to weeks. The following are the common signs and symptoms of listeriosis:

  • Nausea and vomiting, sometimes preceded by diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Muscle ache
  • Headache*
  • Loss of balance*
  • Weakness*
  • Confusion*
  • In some cases, convulsion*

*These symptoms normally appear when listeriosis spreads to the nervous system of the individual

First Aid Management for Listeriosis

Most healthy individuals with mild symptoms would not require treatment as the symptoms will typically disappear on their own. However, for any individual mentioned in the risk factors, treatment is required, most especially for pregnant women to avoid spreading the infection to the unborn child. The following is usually done in cases of a listeriosis infection:

  • Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed by the doctor. Mention any special considerations that need to be addressed, such as pregnancy.
  • Take plenty of rest.
  • Drink eight to ten glasses of clear fluids, preferably water. Every time there is a loose bowel movement, drink at least one cup of liquid.
  • Instead of eating three big meals, eat small meals instead.
  • Ask the doctor before taking other medications
Listeriosis

Listeriosis First Aid Training

Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice and should not be substituted for formal training. The information given should not be used for self-diagnosis. Seek medical attention when necessary. It is important to recognise potential medical emergencies at all times to avoid complications from developing. To learn more about how to manage Staphylococcal food poisoning, enrol in First Aid Courses and CPR Courses with Red Cross Training.

 

 

Online Sources:

http://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes/bacteriaviruses/listeria/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/listeria-infection/DS00963

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/listeriosis-topic-overview

Food Safety Certification in United Kingdom

November 19th, 2013 | Posted by Ibrar Ibrar in Food Safety Courses - (0 Comments)

Food safety is a must, be it in the UK, or USA, or Canada, or any country in the

Food Safety Certification

Food Safety Certification

world for that matter. So it should not come as a surprise to you if you are required by the law to get a food safety certification. We’re here to help you explore your options if you are a UK resident.To start up a business it is compulsory and mandatory in the UK that the owner makes sure that staff are properly trained to handle and deliver the food and in order to achieve this they have to acquire proper food safety certification and hygiene and safety training supervision either by induction of on-job training methods, self-study or even prior relevant knowledge might be of help.

On the other hand food and hygiene certificate awarding bodies could be possibly contacted whether they provide training courses or alternatively many online courses are available on the internet. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is a leading food awarding body in the UK, they provide various courses in food hygiene training and safety and they assist in providing certificates in order to gain employment for a healthy environment. There are alternatively many virtual colleges as well in order to gain necessary food safety certification. The local councils make sure that the safety standards and food hygiene are kept a priority at work and they rank it accordingly. The health officer is around and they visit food stores or shops at random just to ensure that the laws are being followed.

They also arrange refresher courses if anybody requires them.Of course, renewal is an essential part if you want to adapt to the changing food law environment and mutating germs. The food and safety training program is available for different purposes of the food business industry. It can be obtained for catering, manufacturing, retail etc. and specific certificate fulfilling the scale of needs could be achieved. Another important aspect is the attainment of the COSHH, which stands for “Control of Substances Hazardous to Health”, it relates to the potentially dangerous substances that are related to the materials and HSE regulations. It includes basic items like ingredients (spices, oils, and flavorings), cleaning substances (detergents, Sanitizers etc.), to additives (enzymes or improvers).

COSHH is regularly assessed, if a business is having a staff of 5 or more than this certificate should be displayed in the working space in order to undergo by inspection by the food inspectorate. It is

compulsory that the assessment should be completed by any responsible and competent personnel such as the owner, or manager, supervisor or someone who is aware of the organizations working systems that are related to food safety, food & hygiene and health and safety. This food safety certification is awarded in successful participation and clearance in a 30 minute assessment test which is mandatory.

UK has stringent food safety laws and food safety certification is required to open and operate a legal and successful food business

Food Handling Classes are providing formal education in food safety and processing and technology for professionals working in food service industry who are willing to expand their opportunities in career advancement. It may be a kind of long duration course or self guided course or a short term course designed in order to raise awareness about protecting public health by actually preventing the spread of food-borne illness. It is the most helpful training given for all categories of people who handles or serves food to people beyond their family and friends.Food handling

There are many best options available for those who are willing to take food safety courses and certification.

  • In-person training – Separate textbooks are available and exams can be conducted in several languages and offered year-round and statewide.
  • Online Training – This is the most convenient option you can avail and start studying the course by self using videos, activities, narration and interactive exercises. One can learn at their own pace at flexible time.
  • As-requested training – This is totally depends on the number of learners going to avail the course and availability of trainers.

Different certifications and training programs on food safety are there for different food professionals and staffs. One can choose the programs according to their post in working place.

Some of the food handling courses

  • Certification for Managers which satisfies the education requirement for food manager.
  • Renewable Certification for Food Managers helps in renewing the already opted certification and also provides award winning training to the managers.
  • Food Safety Employee Training provides basic food safety training for all service workers who are responsible for keeping food safe for their customers.
  • Food Allergen Training is a simple short term interactive web based course conducted for the food handlers who plays an important role in protecting the health of customers. It all teaches about the possible food allergies.
  • Some courses for Home and Community which helps for those who sells home processed foods like pickles, jams and jellies. This training will help them in keeping food safely and also guides them in how to market the product in society and also provides other sanitation, labeling and documentation training. It also offers the skills and knowledge of volunteers who are cooking for a crowd.
  • Some high level training is also available. They are:

1. Level 1 Safety Program for Frontline food-service workers.

2. Level 2 Safety Program for managers and food service owners.

3. Market Level Safety Program for farmers’ market vendors,

farm-gate vendors and market managers.

While taking the food handling classes, check whether the course is covering the following topics or sections and also learn how to apply these things at workplace effectively.

  • Basic and introduction of Food Safety and Hygiene
  • Food-Borne Illness and its affects
  • Understanding Food Law and Legislation related to Food Hygiene and Safety
  • Food Preservation including appropriate Storage and Temperature Control
  • Premises and Equipment to maintain Pest-Free Conditions
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Good Manufacturing Practices

Food Handling Training – Avoid Cross Contamination

November 7th, 2013 | Posted by Ibrar Ibrar in Food Safety Courses - (0 Comments)
Food Handling Training

Food Handling Training

For workers in the food industry and individuals as well, it is important to have the food handling training in the kitchen in order to minimize cross contamination of bacterial. Bacteria could be transferred from food to food, food to kitchen utensils and verse versa. Following the food handling training will also minimize the amount of victims of food poisoning as a result of poor hygiene in the kitchen.

A lot of research has gone into the materials used in teaching the correct food handling procedures in the food handling training programs. Storing food at the right temperature is one of them; food should never be stored within the temperature of 50 centigrade to 63 degrees centigrade. Food stored or left in this temperature range are exposed to bacterial infection.

Some food items have to be cooked at a temperature not lower 75 degrees centigrade for a minimum of two minutes so as to kill the bacteria in it. It is recommended to use a thermometer to verify that the food is being cooked at the right temperature, especially when cooking for a large number of people. Otherwise, some part of the food will have bacterial present in them which is harmful to the consumer’s health.

When cooking food product that in large portion such as a large chunk of meat, it is recommended to cut into smaller piece in order for every piece of the food to cook evenly at the right temperature. Always steer food with a lot of water content regularly while cooking it; it ensures that the contents are cooked evenly at the right temperature.

Thawing is also a vital food handling procedure taught in food handling training programs. Frozen food must be defrosted completely before cooking; it will ensure that the food is evenly cooked. The thawed food must never be re-frozen and must be kept in a container away from other food items.

After cooking, hot meals should be left to cool for not more than 2 hours before storing it in the refrigerator. Though the amount of time to leave the hot food to cool before storing it in the refrigerator depends on the type of food; never leave any hot food to cool before storing it in the refrigerator for longer than a period of 2 hours. The hot food should not be stored in the refrigerator earlier either; otherwise the hot food with increase the temperature inside the refrigerator which leads to defrost then contamination of the food items in the refrigerator.

Another food handling procedure to avoid food contamination is your trip to the grocery store. Food items must be separated in the shopping cart and in the grocery bags. It is recommended to wrap food items such as animal, seafood with an extra layer of plastic before placing them in the grocery bag so the bacteria in them do not get transferred to any food item in the bag. Also, make sure that the dairy products are not licking or damaged in any way.

It is very vital for people who sell or serve food to learn that there are some harmful bacteria existing in the water or soil. This can come in contact with the food products that are being served. Contaminated foods that are handled and eaten may result in fatal infections through food borne disease. Hence, it is extremely essential to have thorough knowledge of handling food by undergoing food handling courses like:

·         ServSafe
·         HACCP

Servsafe is a certified course offered to employees and managers engaged in the business of food handling. They gain knowledge via the course about food borne diseases and their prevention through studying sanitation. The managers learn about the importance of personal hygiene and how every employee can contribute in handling food safely.

Training & Certification of HACCP Standards

This Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point is a method that comprises seven principles. These are found in the course for food safety that is related to handling food. Every food business in the US should follow a safety system for selling or serving food. Insurance firms, top employers and enforcement agencies recognize these courses. The principle topics that are imparted through this course involve:

·         Checking and record keeping
·         corrective actions
·         monitoring
·         critical limits
·         hazard analysis
·         food defense

In order to get certified, the student undertaking the course should certainly complete it by achieving a minimum grade of seventy percent in the final examination. This will help him to achieve all the tasks related to food safety in a food selling enterprise.

Importance of Food Safety classes

Learning through food safety classes will enable a person engaged in the business of preparation of food to handle it safely. These classes are designed in the form of short duration self-guided training so that it is possible for the student to gain adequate knowledge of public health. Through these classes, one can prevent the spread of illness among people owing to food contamination. The training class consists of six important interactive sections of nearly one and a half hours duration. The topics are:

·         Cleaning Up
·         Cooking Food
·         Preparing Food
·         Storing Food
·         Buying Food
·         Food Safety
·         Test Your Knowledge

Through test your knowledge, the participants have to take the multiple choice quiz program after completing the other sections of study.

A complete training program on food safety conducted for food service industry is the food safe course. There are two levels of study in this course. Food Handling Courses Are Imperative For Healthy LivingThe level one class imparts knowledge on sanitation and work safety as well as in food handling. These are designed for daily wage workers and dish washers, bus-persons, servers and cooks. Information on safety of workers and safety of food are dealt with in these classes. Cleaning and sanitizing, serving food, preparing food, receiving and storing food, and food borne illness are also covered.

The level two of this course is especially meant for executive chefs, managers, kitchen managers and food-service owners who are in charge of safety of food in large food service business centers. The food safety classes are designed in managing food safety and also in writing a plan concerning the safety of food.

Many people fall ill only because of one reason and that is

unhygienic eating and living. A study concluded that out of every hundred people, ninety five are proven to have fallen ill because of bad living and eating conditions. Another long effect of living in unhygienic conditions is premature ageing. People have started ageing at the age of twenty eight if they live in surroundings which have germs, garbage spill here and there and improper sanitary conditions. It is an irony that many of the best food stalls are located near an open sewage line or a garbage can. If we go by the level of contamination on these very tasty food items we will find that we are only eating germs which are tasty to our tongue. The food items such as paani puri are quite delicious but contain the maximum amount of bacteria and harmful viruses.

The food safety classes or the food handling training given comprises of theory as well as practical. The course is full of science and methods by which foods can be handled safely and kept away from contamination. The food safety can be taken care off by following these basic steps:

  1. Clean: Always clean the food items before cooking. Remove the dust and dirt present on them. Wash them properly and then use them for cooking.
  2. Use clean utensils: Make it a point to use cleaned and sanitized utensils. Wash them or wipe them again if they are kept after cleaning.
  3. Detection and removal: The foremost functions of people are to prevent harmful impurities which can become a health hazard. The food items should be chemically tested and verified to view any presence of toxic elements. The results of these tests should then be cross checked with prevailing rates and levels and given verdict upon their being healthy or unhealthy.
  4. Maintain hygienic conditions: Hygienic conditions are a must and everyone should forcefully maintain it. It should be on the priority list of people to maintain hygiene and cleanliness. They should prohibit from eating food which is located near a contamination source that is, open sewage line, trash can wither filled or empty, place where garbage is strewn.
  5. Storage conditions: People should also focus on maintaining hygienic storage and warehousing conditions. It is often seen that contamination levels are quite high in warehouses or storage units. When asked a warehousing service provider on the sanitation and cleanliness in and around the warehouse, he was tight lipped and did not utter a word. He knew that the safety conditions for food that he provides are not up to the mark. So it should be made mandatory for him to go through a food safety certification before taking up a job. In our country much of food grains and vegetable spoil and get wasted because of improper and inadequate storage conditions.

Food Handling Training and the Safety CertificationWe as a society move away from cleanliness as it requires a lot of hard work and money. When we all should go after the cleanliness spree we think it as someone else’s job and that puts everyone either in hospital or in beds with various types of illnesses. In our country out of every ten, nine get ill because of bad and unhygienic eating habits. Beware and stay healthy because we have a great amount of responsibilities to take care off. So let’s start healthy habits from food and get food handling training.