Food Safety: A Brief Examination

Photo source: f1train.co.uk

Photo source: f1train.co.uk

We’ve talked extensively about pharmaceutical careers, but it’s important not to forget one of the other job paths at AAPS: Food safety training for food preparation and manufacturing.

Every living person eats.  As a result, food safety is a concern for everyone, at every level of the process, from first production to kitchen and all the way to the plate. It is unlikely that you would find a restaurant without food safety certification.  In Canada, federal level regulation comes from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, while individual provinces and municipalities prefer to add their own oversight.

Food quality assurance and quality control is itself, nothing new. There has always been some centralized food preparation. For example, a village might have a single baker and a miller, and powerful and wealthy people generally had a dedicated kitchen that cooked for large households. These were subject to rules and oversight for the protection of the entire community.  However, in modern day, the Victorian period heralded the first really widespread availability of pre-prepared packaged food and the food safety standards that we recognize. This was also the simultaneous explosion in modern pharmaceutical regulation as the same early efforts at clinical research uncovered effective treatments to common ailments like cholera and proved sterile technique.

While scientists continued to refine the work of people like Louis Pasteur and food safety owes medical science a debt, in the same period manufacturers began to compete to reassure buyers that products were “untouched by human hands”. Businesses of all kinds strived to meet and exceed standards for safe food storage and hygiene.  Today’s strict licencing and inspections share these roots, backed by cutting edge scientific data.

Food Quality Assurance Today

However, today, this perfection of safety has also helped fuel a cottage industry in food production and a renaissance of hands-on, home-style cooking. Knowing exactly how to keep consumers safe has made it possible to apply the high standards of food safety without losing the small scale advantages.

This means that graduates of either the short food safety certificate program or the longer food safety diploma program at AAPS can work in a diverse number of environments, from catering through to specialized food service, such as food preparation in a care facility. AAPS makes sure that graduates have the provincially recognized skills they need, regardless of their specific food handling career goal.

What are your favourite pharmaceutical industry career building tips?