Anyone working with unpackaged food, food equipment, or on food contact surfaces at their job is required by the state of Texas to get a texas food handlers card.
Designed as a way to educate those in the food industry how to safely handle and serve food to those consuming it, an accredited food handler’s course will provide you the proper certification to stay employed no matter what part of the food prep or serving process you are involved with in your establishment.
That’s why today we are looking at the four concepts a food handler’s course will teach you. This way, when you sign up to take the convenient online course, you will have a good idea what you are getting into.
1. What Foodborne Illness Is
According to Stop Foodborne Illness, a non-profit public health organization, foodborne illness is an infection of the gastrointestinal tract caused by food or drink contaminated with harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, or chemicals.
Symptoms of a foodborne illness include:
- Abdominal pain
Since people rely on the staff of restaurants to prepare their food properly, and not serve them contaminated food and drink that can make them ill, anyone in the Texas food industry must learn what a foodborne illness is and how to prevent it.
2. Hygiene Best Practices
Part of avoiding foodborne illness, and just being sanitary in the food industry while coming into contact with other people’s food, is practicing proper hygiene.
In a food handler’s course, you will learn the following:
- Proper Handwashing. Frequent handwashing is one of the best waysto prevent the spread of harmful germs that can contaminate food during the cooking and serving processes.
- Illness Symptoms.Knowing when to call in sick because you are ill is nearly as important as making sure you wash your hands properly while working with food. If you are sick, the spread of those germs to food, drinks, equipment, and contact surfaces is highly likely.
- Bare Hand Contact. There are instances where you can, and cannot, work with food with your bare hands. To stop the spread of foodborne illness, and prevent issues with the local health department, you must know when to use gloves and when it’s ok to bare hand it.
3. Preventing Cross Contamination
During your food handler’s course, you will learn what cross contamination is and how to prevent it. You will also learn how to correctly clean and sanitize food and non-food contact surfaces, which include prep stations, dishes, and tables customers sit at.
In addition, you will learn about the different physical, chemical, and biological hazards that can present themselves in foods and how to minimize all three.
4. Food Safety
Lastly, one of the main concepts you will learn in food handler’s class is about the proper food safety:
- Temperature control during and after food prep
- Proper use of thermometers and other food related equipment
- Food safety tips to prevent the cross contamination and illness
As you can see, there is a lot to know before getting into the food industry when it comes to preparing and serving food items to people. That’s why receiving your food handler’s certificate is mandatory to work with food in the state of Texas.