Home > HSE Article > The Growing Importance of Food Safety Education for Food Handlers at India

The Growing Importance of Food Safety Education for Food Handlers at India


NIST opens Food Safety Certification now in India. Food handlers need to know why food safety is important and the only way to do that is through training. In the commercial kitchen, there should be no excuse for handling food in an unsafe manner. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)has been mandated by the FSS Act, 2006 which elicits to provide training program for food handlers for safe food practices. Now,NIST helps food workers to value their role in the food safety culture.

NIST serves as a single reference point for all courses relating to Food Safety starting from catering unit, manufacturing industry to a single line of retail industry and food auditing.Why Food Safety Training is Important? Food safety is an important public health issue in India now. Eating at restaurants and other food service facilities increasingly has been associated with food borne disease outbreaks. Food safety training and certification of food handlers has been used as a method for reducing food safety violations at food service facilities. However, the literature is inconclusive about the effectiveness of such training programs for improving food safety and protecting consumer health.

Here are several reasons why it is important to train staff in safe food handling practices:

The employees are the ones actually handling food.The recent mid-day meal programme pesticide poison incidentat Bihar which killed 23 children was a big tragedy of this year eating contaminated food which is five times more than what is found in insecticides and pesticides. Since cooking professionals are the ones actually handling and preparing the food, it is important that they do so in a safe manner through proper food safety training. This protects both employees and customers to a safe food handling practices and conserve the food premises from legal issues and customer satisfaction.

It is a health code requirement. Currently, the only restaurant workers who need to be food safety certified are managers, but the FDA Food Code does stipulate that all food handlers need to have a working knowledge of food safety. What constitutes “working knowledge” is left up to the local health departments to decide. Chances are the health inspector will ask employees what safety measures they are using and maybe why those measures are important.

Reduce the risk of food poisoning.Eight people – including a pregnant women-have alleged that they suffered food poisoning after eating at a 5 star hotel at New Delhi. Many Food poisoning issues are prevailing in India and this elucidates the importance of food safetyeducation by the food handlers as advised by the FSSAI. Despite the investment and focus on training, researchers suggest that the impact of food handler training programs is inconsistent and program evaluation is rarely conducted.

Training helps with quality control.The basic responsibility of any food facility is to prepare, produce and market good quality and safe food that is honestly presented. It is the duty of the government to ensure compliance by industry to national food quality and safety requirements. Food safety education is a huge part of quality control.NIST offers courses on food safety, HACCP and lead auditor course FSMS. Not only providing education but also cater auditing services for all the food establishments.

Behavior will change. The best way to ingrain proper procedures into people is to change their behavior. Training and regularly applying those food safety training principles will eventually change the way staff handle and look at food to the extent that safe food handling just becomes second nature.

Employees can gain a better appreciation for their jobs. After so long, preparing food in a commercial kitchen can become monotonous, and employees may begin to question why they have to do things a certain way. Food safety training teaches workers why safe food handling is important. Once they realize that they are directly responsible for the health and safety of the customers, their jobs may feel a little less monotonous.

Conclusion
The number of food-borne disease outbreaks has been increasing around the world. Annually, about 1.5 billion cases of food-borne disease outbreaks are reported, resulting in 3 million deaths globally and also closure of the food business. We handle and consume food in one way or another. As such, the assurance of food safety is a shared responsibility. Through food safety education, NIST hopes to raise awareness about the importance of food safety. Now, you can also join NIST to promote food safety through education, and you too can play a part in ensuring your food is safe to eat.

Together, let’s keep food safe!

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