As of the moment, the FDA only requires restaurant workers to at least have a practical knowledge of how proper food handling is done, leaving the responsibility of getting certified to restaurant managers. What makes up this practical knowledge, however, varies depending on employee training and experience. Come health inspection time, employees are left scratching their heads for lack of knowledge of the safety measures their evaluations are being based upon.
Food safety training may just be another class to attend for some people, but it's just a matter of perspectives. Here are some things that you will find fun during your food safety training.
1. Hands-on training at a new environment.
Most HACCP, food handler and food safety training are held at specialized kitchen labs although this varies depending on the training provider. Some restaurants rent out their kitchen as a training venue to institutions after closing hours and you're lucky if your educational provider is one of them. Either way, you'll get to experience what it's like to operate various kinds of cooking equipment in an environment other than the one you're used to.
2. Leverage to negotiate for greater pay.
Results of a study published in the Journal of Extension showed that 72 percent of food service managers prefer to hire food safety-certified workers. 50 percent of the respondents are also willing to pay premiums and bonuses to food safety-trained workers.
3. Opportunity to meet new friends.
Expect to interact with people from all walks of life in your food safety training class. Classes are usually interactive and require the input of individual members of the group.
4. The chance to pick up new skills from industry experts.
Food safety training isn't limited to the laboratory or the rigors of food serving. Remember that your class is comprise of people of different backgrounds—some of these people are industry veterans who are taking refresher courses, others are simply interested on how to properly prepare and serve food. Who knows—you may just gain new industry insight and skills from these individuals along the way.
5. Glowing job recommendations.
A food safety certification looks good on any resume. By getting to know industry experts—and being able to impress some of them—you may be able to solicit a great recommendation for a local restaurant job position that you're interested in. If you're already employed, obtaining a food safety certification may just open doors for a promotion.