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Wait Staff and Food Handling Courses

Have you ever taken a food handling course? You must wonder what the point is or what the “big deal” is if you work in the food industry. Many servers or wait staff employees question the validity of these courses because they feel that they are not in a position where improper food handling could occur. The truth is that anyone in the public sphere of food service is in a position to contaminate food – in more ways than one.

People often regard “food handling” as a reference to cooking the food but there is much more to it than that. As wait staff are responsible for delivering cooked food to guests they are responsible for their actions and hygiene in that delivery process. This can mean sneezing or coughing, not washing their hands properly or at all and even cross-contaminating two cooked dishes. You might wonder how you could possibly cross-contaminate cooked foods but it’s a simple and easy thing to do that could have disastrous results. As the server you are responsible for taking a tables order and questioning them about important things such as how they would like their steaks cooked and if there is an allergy at the table. A food handling course helps teach wait staff the importance of inquiring about allergies and the greater importance of keeping a dish safe from contamination if there is an allergy.

A cooked dish can become quickly contaminated if you switch hands with two plates and the other plate had an allergen present. Many people are allergic to simple everyday things, like black pepper, peanuts or shellfish. Without a thought you could accidently transfer ground pepper from one plate to another on a fingertip or inadvertently hand the dish to someone who is unaware of the allergy concern. In this way, taking a food handling course can protect employees and establishments from major catastrophes. It is always better to be safe than sorry and the last thing a server needs is a consumer going into anaphylactic shock on their watch.

Although there are obvious benefits to wait staff participating in a food handling course, there are further benefits to supervisors and management – even bar staff – participating in these courses. Contamination can occur at any stage of food preparation and delivery and food doesn’t always refer to a hunk of meat either, this can mean beverages as well. Some people have citrus allergies which would mean a variety of fruit juices and even some beers would be off limits but furthermore, their glassware could not come into contact with citrus at all. This would require bar staff to don gloves and keep the drink aware from garnishes. In many instances a manager should always be monitoring guests with allergies to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Food handling courses aren’t difficult to complete. They often cover a wide array of common sense knowledge but they also teach you proper procedures and in many cases, thing you did not realize about food handling, including risks. No matter what aspect of the service industry you work in, a food handling course should be a priority and with us you can achieve certification online in no time.