Efficient food preparation and processing requires a commitment to safety and sanitation beyond family kitchen practices. There are serious business consequences for failing to maintain acceptable food hygiene standards and those who work in the hospitality, restaurant and other food related industries must be aware of what is expected to assure safety. The good news is that food hygiene training is neither scarce nor expensive, and a good number of opportunities can be found on the Internet.
HACCP, Food Safety Management web site is a must first stop for anyone looking for high quality instruction in the area of food safety. The site is connected to the University of Arizona and has a series of easy to understand lessons on HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) food safety. The Food Safety link on the website leads a person to a number of articles on food safety such as Food Processing, Foodborne Microorganisms, and Safe Food Storage. Foodhaacp.com advertises itself as the comprehensive Food Safety Information Website, offering educational videos and announcements of upcoming educational seminars.
The US Department of Agriculture is deeply concerned about food safety and its National Agricultural Library website will direct a visitor to training resources for food hygiene. The National Environmental Health Association has food safety programs dedicated to sharing knowledge that promotes better practices. It offers a Certified Professional Food Handler program (CPFH). The Association also offers a Certified Professional Food Manager (CPFM) program to educate managers so that they will be more proficient on the job.
The food industry also takes an active role in training its employees in better food hygiene. The National Restaurant Association sponsors the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). The foundation includes in its curriculum ServSafe Food Safety Starters Program that covers basic food safety, personal hygiene, cross-contamination & allergens, time & temperature, and cleaning & sanitation. Training materials and courses can also be found on the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade website as well as the American Culinary Federation. Further, the web site of the Dietary Managers Association has a listing of approved training programs that include food safety, and these are in class, online and correspondence courses.
It should come as no surprise that so many of the food hygiene training opportunities can be found with organizations directly connected to universities and other centers of higher learning. The National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI) is a part of the School of Applied Science at The University of Mississippi. While its concentration is on child nutrition, it sponsors training for the creation of school and child care center food safety programs. The University Of North Dakota also offers a program that is DMA approved and offers scholarship opportunity for a prospective student. Lastly, a major food hygiene training website is The International HAACP Alliance, housed within the Department of Animal Science of Texas A&M University. It provides a listing of accredited HACCP training programs, both introductory and advanced.
The training helps foster a safe environment for the preparation, transfer and processing of food. That is a result that cannot be emphasized enough. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers food safety as an essential public health function, which can prevent many food borne diseases. The better the understanding of food hygiene among food workers means the better the chance of a reduction in food borne diseases. As mentioned before, this is a result that cannot be emphasized enough.