MHLU - Health Status Resource

Food Handler Certification

Food Handler Certification

Key Findings: 
  • The Middlesex-London Health unit began training food handlers in 2003 (Fig. 11.10). 
  • There was a steady increase in the number of food handlers certified by MLHU over time, but there was a 90% increase in the number of certifications awarded in 2011 compared to 2010 (Fig. 11.10).
  • A recent needs assessment of the population needing food handler training indicated that the numbers of people requiring  food handler training is likely to be high in 2012 (data not shown). 
Interpretive Notes

Increased participation in the Food Handler Training course is the result of bylaws passed in all municipalities in Middlesex-London that requires at least one trained food handler, in a supervisory role, to be on site at all times where hazardous food is being prepared.  In the City of London, the mandatory certification of Food Handlers came into effect on October 1, 2011, and in Middlesex County on January 1, 2012. The trained food handler must supervise the preparation, processing, packaging, service or storage of food.  Public Health Inspectors (PHI) with the MLHU are responsible for ensuring that each food premises that prepares hazardous food in Middlesex-London meets the requirements of the by-laws. 

Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol - Section 1, Subsections b-iii, vi, viii

Rabies Prevention Control - Requirement #4

Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control Standard - Requirement #3

Health Hazard Prevention and Management Standard - Requirement #2

Jargon Explained

Hazardous food 

Any food that is capable of supporting the growth of pathogenic organisms or production of the toxins from such organisms.

Food Handler Certification Program 

A program designed to teach food handlers the general principles of safe food handling such as risk factors associated with food borne illness and to teach the skills necessary to handle food and prevent illness from occurring. 

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