July 23,

Peterborough Public Health Celebrates 20,000 Local Safe Food Handlers Since 1997

July 6, 2017 – Today Peterborough Public Health paid tribute to the 20,000 food handlers who have been certified to protect the public from foodborne illness since the Food Handler Training Certification course began in 1997.

“Today’s group of 25 students helps us reach an important milestone of 20,000 certified safe food handlers since 1997 who have taken their skills out into the community, to keep us all safe from foodborne illnesses,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health programs.  “This event recognizes the role we all play in protecting public health, especially since the knowledge gained by these students is used both in their homes as well as in their workplaces.”

Mr. Jain noted that ensuring the community has strong food handling skills is an important preventative measure for public health, which is why the course continues to be offered at no charge to local residents.  Since 1997, Peterborough Public Health has run a total of 994 food handler courses, including the one that took place today.

Public Health Inspectors train food handlers in Peterborough City, County and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations to ensure that all restaurants, long-term care homes, supermarkets, butcher shops, chip trucks and other food premises are preparing foods safely according to public health standards.  The Food Handler Training and Certification course teaches participants how to identify foodborne illness and food safety hazards, safe food handling process and correct cleaning and sanitizing techniques.

On January 1, 2015, a Food Handler Certification by-law came into place in both the City and County of Peterborough requiring all high and moderate risk food premises to have at least one certified food handler working in a supervisory capacity on site at all times.  High-risk food premises are those that handle food with multiple preparation steps, and/or who serve people at greatest health risks for food-borne illnesses, such as nursing homes, hospitals and some restaurants.  Moderate-risk food premises include fast-food establishments, chip trucks and bakeries that have fewer preparation steps and generally serve healthier populations.

If you would like to register for the Food Handler Training and Certification Course visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca or call 705-743-1000, ext. 240.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

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