Making Food Handlers Course Mandatory

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit is looking at making the food handlers course mandatory for those serving the public.

The course is voluntary right now, but public health officials say it is well attended. The goal is to eventually introduce a bylaw to make it necessary for any premises serving food to have a certified staff member working at all times.

“There’s evidence to say that if you have training in food handling that you actually do follow proper procedures and there is a reduced risk of causing illness in the public itself,” says Director of Environmental Health Rose Marie Arndt. “So if we have people trained, we’re protecting the public that are eating there.”

Arndt says many local restaurants serve high-risk foods, such as chicken, to high-risk residents. Those considered to be at a higher risk for food poisoning include children and the elderly.