The Canadian food industry generates more than nine billion of dollars in revenue, employing more than ten million workers across the Canadian provinces. The food industry is expanding, creating a significant demand in the job market for qualified individuals. However, to be considered a qualified worker, individuals require specific certifications. Food industries – such as food processing, food manufacturing, packaging, restaurants and catering – require a comprehensive understanding of food safety and quality assurance.
Working in industrial food processing requires knowledge and practical skills related to regulations, sanitation principles and quality control disciplines. In addition to international regulations, provincial and federal Canadian governments have a well-established set of regulations, standards and requirements.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)
The most common international certification is Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP). HACCP certification provides workers with the needed knowledge of Regulations; Food Safety Hazards; Basic Food Microbiology; Prerequisite of Transportation, Receiving, Storage, Sanitation and Pest Control.
Safe Food Handler’s Certification
Safe Food Handler’s Certification is required by Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The certification provides the holder with the primary knowledge of handling food safely, as well as the causes of potential food-borne illnesses.
Occupational Health and Safety
All workers should acquire the knowledge to deal with workplace health and safety issues according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act enforced by Ontario Ministry of Labour. Other regulations of WSIB and Fire Departments are required as well. This knowledge ensures that all workers will maintain a safe work environment for themselves and others.
Based on particular job functions, other qualifications might be required. This may include industry labelling and nutrient elements. For more specialized jobs such as cooks and bakers, workers need to obtain culinary degrees.