Training to leave food handlers on better footing

Lyna Mohamad

Individuals involved in food handling in the food industry need to know how to do so as implementing good food handling and hygiene practices during food preparation reduces the risk of food poisoning and ensures safe food.

It also helps achieve public confidence, and improves both business performance and customer satisfaction, in the sense that customers know that the food served is not only delicious, but safe for consumption as well.

From 2015 to 2016, Brunei recorded 67 food poisoning outbreaks affecting 1,645 individuals caused by poor hygiene habits of the staff involved in preparing food, lack of sanitation of the surrounding kitchen area, and improper storage of food at unsuitable temperatures for a prolonged period.

It is a must for food businesses to make sure that all food handlers and people who supervise food handlers have the right skills and knowledge in food safety and hygiene.

The skills and knowledge are an important step forward in setting the standard requirement for all food handlers to meet.

This is to reinforce their behaviours which can prevent food-borne illnesses as well as raise the level of compliance with the local food legislation throughout the food industry.

In view of the importance of food handling skills and knowledge, the Industry Business Academy of DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) will organise a two-day training programme starting today, at Bukit Retak Hall, Pusat Belia in Temburong, provided by SEAMEO Voctech Regional Centre.

Representing SEAMEO as the facilitator and coordinator is the centre’s Training and Professional Development Manager cum TVET specialist Noorhayati Cynthia binti Abdullah.

Participants comprise food handlers from Temburong District working in the food industry, particularly in kitchens, food and beverage, whose duties involve the preparation, handling and service of food.

The training approach will include the use of videos, workshops, sharing of professional experiences/discussions and lectures and at the end of the training, participants acquire knowledge and skills to follow hygiene procedures.

They will also be able to identify and prevent hygiene risks, and maintain safe personal food handling and personal presentation standards, applicable in the hospitality and food industry in Brunei Darussalam.

At the end of the training programme, food handlers will also be able to explain the concept of foodborne illness and understand the elements and practise the technique of good hand washing, the different roles in preventing foodborne illnesses and the importance of temperature control in preventing illness

They will also be able to practise effective ways to prevent the spread of disease, identify different types of food temperatures, store and handle food safely, maintain a clean and safe workplace and understand and employ good employee practices and what makes people sick from food.