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Ottawa May Mandate Food Safety Training for Employees at Restaurants with Bad Record

Food service establishments in Ottawa, Ontario that repeatedly fail health inspections will be required to enroll employees in mandatory food safety training if a proposal set to be discussed next week becomes law.

The proposal – submitted to the Ottawa Board of Health by public health officials – would make food handler training mandatory for employees of restaurants that rack up more than 4 critical infractions in a one-year period.

The health department of the eastern Canadian city does not currently mandate food handler certification for restaurant employees.

“Mandatory training for all food handlers has been found to have limited benefits; a targeted food handler training approach would enable (Ottawa Public Health) to focus efforts on food premises operators with a history of non-compliance, while still offering the training to all those wishing to be certified,” states the proposal, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

In addition, because food service workers move from one establishment to another, tracking those who are certified is an unwieldy task, it says.

Health officials conducted 13,837 inspections in the city in 2011, an increase from its 13,710 inspections in 2010.

Last year, 55 provincial offense notices were issued to 39 premises, a jump from the 20 notices issued to 13 facilities the preceding year, reports the Citizen.

The Board of Health will discuss the proposal Monday.

© Food Safety News