Owners and managers of restaurants, bars, and other facilities that serve food are generally required to take a food handling course, and are often required to take an updated course at regular intervals. Other employees of restaurants are typically not required to take a formal food handling course, but sometimes are given the option. Many employees don’t see these course as necessary as they are not a requirement, and they can receive training from the restaurant’s owner or manager who has taken the required courses.
However, if you are a non-management employee of a restaurant or other food service establishment, you should always take the opportunity. Not only will it boost your professional credentials and look great on your resume, but you will also be surprised at how much you learn and how much more confident you will be in your ability to properly prepare, store, and serve food.
Food Handling Courses:
A food safety course might not sound like the most exciting way to spend your evenings or weekends, but the experience will be well worth the time you spend there. You might think that a food handling course will be completely boring, dull, and uneventful, but the information you learn there will actually be quite interesting. Odds are, you are always told to follow certain practices and procedures in your restaurant job, and you likely (or at least hopefully!) do follow them, but you might not have any idea why.
A food handling course will shed some light on the situation, and will give you an opportunity to understand your job and food science a little better. Most tasks are easier to perform if you understand why they are relevant or what they accomplish, so taking a food handling or food safety course will make your job a little easier for you. After all,, who doesn’t want their job to be a little bit easier?
The Science behind Food Handling:
The food science behind food handling procedures is quite fascinating, and it’s a field where new developments and discoveries take place all of the time. By taking the opportunity to participate in a food handling course, you will be privy to fascinating scientific information â€“ you might even be able to teach your manager a thing or two after that! Just seeing the science behind food safety, and seeing how quickly bacteria can grow and multiply on food that has not been properly prepared, cooked, or stored will make you understand exactly why proper food handling procedures are important. Knowing what might grow on a piece of meat left at room temperature will be great motivation for you to cook or refrigerate that meat as soon as possible!
You will also have the opportunity to pass that information on to your other coworkers so that you can rest assured that your workspace is as a clean and sanitary as possible. Not only is that important to your customers, who obviously want to be served safe food, but its also important to you and your coworkers, as coming into contact with contaminated food and unclean food preparation surfaces can result in pretty sever illness.
One of the biggest benefits to taking a food handling course is the sense of pride you will able to take in your position at the restaurant where you work. Everybody wants to feel proud of what they do and what they accomplish at work, and you can’t take pride in a job where you are under-informed and lack proper training. By taking the opportunity to participate in a food handling course, you will feel like you have a better sense of control and knowledge in your work place, and that is a feeling you can take pride in.
Odds are your coworkers will notice a difference as well â€“ once they see how much you know about food handling and safely, you can expect them to start coming to you for advice and to check their work procedures as well!
Taking an optional food handling course might seem like a waste of time, but really, it’s an opportunity to learn something new and exciting, to better understand your workplace rules, and to truly take pride in your position. If you are ever given the opportunity to take a food handling course, you should take it.
This article was written by Erin of Food Safety Today who is passionate about all things food.