Food Safety, Sanitation, and Personal Hygiene

2 Food Safety Regulations

In British Columbia, the Food Premises Regulation[1] stipulates that:

(1) Every operator of a food service establishment must hold a certificate, issued by a health officer, for the successful completion of the food handler training program known as FOODSAFE or its equivalent.

(2) Every operator of a food service establishment must ensure that, while the operator is absent from the food service establishment, at least one employee present in the establishment holds the certificate referred to in subsection (1).

Although food safety certification is only required of one person per shift, a FOODSAFE certificate is recognized by many employers as a valuable and necessary employee qualification and an industry best practice for all people handling food.

FOODSAFE Level 1, B.C.’s provincial food safety course, is available in three ways: face to face, online, or through distance education (correspondence). In order to obtain a FOODSAFE Level 1 certificate, you must take a course through an approved training provider and pass an exam, which consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. A minimum score of 70% is required to pass the exam. Once you have successfully completed both the course and the exam, you will be registered in the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) database and receive a FOODSAFE certificate.

All new FOODSAFE Level 1 certificates have a five-year expiry date. Once your certificate expires, you must take a refresher course and achieve a grade of 80% on the refresher exam in order to be recertified.

For those in supervisory positions, the FOODSAFE Level 2 course offers training in the management of food safety and food safety systems.

More information on FOODSAFE certification as well as other equivalent food safety certificates can be found on the FOODSAFE website.


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Food Safety Regulations by The BC Cook Articulation Committee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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