Online food safety courses offered

St. John Ambulance has launched two online food safety courses designed specifically for the hospitality industry.

  • Aug. 5, 2015 3:00 p.m.

St. John Ambulance has launched two online food safety courses designed specifically for the hospitality industry.

The courses will educate workers on how to prevent the transmission of food borne illness, such as salmonella and escherichia coli (E. coli), while allowing for the flexibility of online learning.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, about four million Canadians contract a food borne illness annually – that’s roughly one in eight people.

To prevent food borne illness, all Canadian food service establishments are required to have at least one staff member with a Foodsafe level one certification or equivalent. Both Food Safety Basics and Food Safety Advanced meet this requirement.

“Food service and handling of food is such a big part of the hospitality industry,” said Cindy Lund Chow, chief learning officer with St. John Ambulance in B.C.

“Canadians purchase approximately 1.7 meals each week so there’s a big responsibility for the industry to get it right – for every customer at every meal.”

In Food Safety Basics, students will learn how to hygienically clean, serve, and dispose of food items, making the course suitable for chefs, cooks, servers – as well as at-home cooks and foodies.

The advanced version is a management-level food safety training program, and is ideal for owners, operators, supervisors, or managers of any food service establishment to better ensure that all food handlers work more safely.

The St. John Ambulance food safety courses are industry recognized, can take as little as eight hours to complete, and are followed by a one-hour exam at a local St. John Ambulance branch, as required by B.C. health authorities. Course certification is valid for five years.

The launch of these courses is especially timely for summer, as more people are hosting barbecues and dinner parties, and thousands of students are looking for temporary work.

“The job of choice for many students looking to earn some extra cash over the summer holiday or pay their way through university lies in the hospitality industry,” said Lund Chow.

“If you’re looking for hospitality work, Food Safety Basics is a great accreditation to have on your resume and it’s very affordable.”

Course fees are $90 for Food Safety Basics and $165 for Food Safety Advanced. Register at or 1-866-321-2651.