This short blog speaks on the importance of food safety training, and how it upholds the rules and regulations that strive to keep citizens safe and healthy.
Every time an individual consumes a beverage or food item, they are engaging in an act of trust; this act of trust lies with the safe manufacturing, transport, packaging, and handling of these items. In residential societies it is extremely rare for individuals to be directly acquainted with all parts of the food handling process, and therefore all members of the society inherently give their trust to those who handle their consumer products. Fortunately, as societies grow, so do the rules and regulations to keep a growing consumer base safe, so that this trust can remain. A large part of keeping consumers safe is to give proper food safety training to those who handle or deal with food products at any stage.
According to the Australian Department of Health, there are an estimated 5.4 million, individual cases of food poisoning across the country every year. Of this surprisingly significant number, 120 of these cases results in loss of life. Many of these occurrences stemmed from consumers mishandling food products in their own home. For example, around the holiday season, there are multiple food items that require careful handling, such as pork and lamb. Not storing these meat items at a proper temperature can result in dangerous bacterial accumulation, putting the safety of one’s family at risk. Thankfully, although there are not policed rules and regulations in the home, these do exist in food manufacturing and sale. Not only have health and safety standards been set for all who handle any food products at any stage, but all staff who work with food items are required to have food safety training to familiarize themselves with proper handling techniques.
The sort of training that is provided to the staff who deals with food products does not only cover basic hygienic practices, but educates on the vital importance of food safety. Thus, not only does food safety training provide important skills, but the knowledge that their actions (or lack of proper actions) can directly affect the health and safety or many Australians. In particular, there are certain segments of the population that are more vulnerable than others, and who would suffer greatly from even the least bit of contamination. For example, individuals who have depleted or compromised immune systems (due to either an ongoing condition or temporary medication), young children, elderly populations, and pregnant women, all have increased sensitivity to food poisoning. This is why health standards must be very strictly enforced, as even a slight misstep in food handling might mean an upset stomach for an average Australian, but could mean severe sickness for any of these vulnerable groups.
This is but a short overview of how important it is to maintain proper health standards in the handling of food products in Australia. As with any safety regulation, the impact lies in the enforcement of rules, and in the case of food safety, the enforcement lies in providing high quality food safety training to all staff and management that have any contact with food products.