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Food handling certification is a prerequisite to joining the restaurant workforce in many states, including Texas. Even where this is not mandatory, gaining your certificate has many benefits. It makes you stand out from other candidates when you are applying for any job in the food industry. You will understand essential procedures to protect yourself, your customers and your employer at work and at home. Moreover, it will give you the knowledge and skills to excel in the restaurant world.
One of the easiest ways to get certified is on the Internet. With quite a few options out there, many people wonder how to get your food handler certification online from a reputable, recognized source. It is important to keep in mind that safety regulations concerning food do vary between states, so finding a program tailored to your location is key. For example, the American Safety Council offers a certification program for Texas residents that is available right on their website.
What is food handler certification?
The term ‘food handler’ constitutes anyone working around food in a non-managerial role. This includes almost all restaurant staff, such as chefs, sous chefs, line cooks, servers, bussers, bartenders and hosts. In many states, certification is required to work in any establishment serving food or beverages, including bars. Certification prepares any prospective employee to safely and responsibly work around food.
What you will be learning and why it is important
The main points that will be covered by your training include good hygienic practices, preventing contamination, the importance of time and temperature control, and foodborne diseases.
Understanding how you can directly and indirectly impact the safety of food is critical to avoiding illness. Prevention of food-related illness is absolutely critical in the food industry. To get an idea of just how many opportunities exist for food contamination, the foremost publication in the field, Food Quality & Safety, conducted their own research on some of the more common biological, chemical and physical hazards. Tips on how to eliminate risk of such dangers will be a huge aspect of your training.
The certification process
Most courses take just two hours to complete and since it is online, you can train whenever and wherever you get the chance. You do not have to plan on taking the entire course in one sitting, making this the most convenient and flexible option towards certification.
The training simply requires you to become familiar with proper practices and procedures in the food industry. You do not have to worry about any exams.
After you have finished reviewing all the material in the course, you will be able to print out your new food handler certificate. It is valid for two years from the date it is issued.
Responsible food handling is really an essential part of life within the food industry as well as outside of it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates there are around 48 million cases of foodborne illness annually. That means one in six Americans will experience some form of food poisoning every year. The training you will receive through food handler certification is undoubtedly pertinent far beyond your workplace and should be viewed as an excellent learning opportunity.