May 15, 2013

Food safety becomes second nature

Meat, poultry and seafood are always stored on
the bottom shelf of fridges and freezers,
 so they cannot drip into other foods. 

Chef Dean’s voice drifts from the classroom as he and the students discuss various ways to prepare poultry. Food safety is woven into every detail, from storing and handling the raw product to cooking technique and temperature, along with storage and use of leftovers.  

Rarely does a day pass on campus that we don’t hear the well-entrenched terms “cross-contamination” and “food danger zone.” Avoiding these should become as automatic as breathing. In the classroom and the kitchen, students learn the conditions in which pathogens thrive, the temperature at which most of them are destroyed and the speed at which they can reproduce. 

Every student is issued an instant-read
thermometer (blue-in sleeve pocket) to
check the internal temperature of
meats when they are cooking.
Our kitchen equipment helps with food safety – fridges & freezers keep foods below 40F, dishwashers have external thermometers to ensure water is over 140 F, and instant-read food thermometers are part of every tool kit. 
A clean kitchen is essential to prevent
the spread of food-borne pathogens.

Though these lessons are not everyone’s favorite, they are vital to the reputation and longevity of every 
food establishment, and the health and safety of their customers.They are also essential to our students’ future, as each of them must pass the Region of Waterloo Public Health Safety Food Handlers Certificate before they graduate.

To learn more about how we promote safe food handling, visit our Facebook page.