Food Safety Essentials | Course Objectives

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Course Objectives

After completing Food Safety Essentials courses, you’ll know more about:


  • Why it is part of your job to produce clean, safe food
  • The importance of personal hygiene
  • What contamination risks to look for inside and outside the building
  • How to prevent contamination from equipment, tools, and utensils
  • How to safely handle and inspect raw materials and ingredients and how to document those inspections


  • Physical, chemical, and biological hazards
  • The seven principles of HACCP
  • The difference between processes that are "in control" and those that are "out of control”
  • What you should do if a process goes out of control
  • What a HACCP manual should contain

Allergen Control

  • Mild and severe reactions caused by food allergens
  • Foods included in the "Big 8"
  • How to properly store and identify allergen ingredients
  • What to include in an ingredient review
  • Common cross-contamination issues and how to prevent them
  • The difference between wet and dry cleaning
  • How to properly use rework

Food Defense

  • The difference between food safety and food defense
  • Warning signs that point to suspicious activity
  • Security risks linked to visitors
  • Suspicious activity
  • Common threats to the food supply
  • Significant food security concerns
  • What basic food security programs should address

Foreign Material Control

  • How food safety is enforced under the federal law
  • Five parts of a foreign material control program
  • How to conduct a visual examination of raw ingredients
  • When it is necessary to send samples to the laboratory for examination
  • The proper way to store food and ingredients
  • Production practices that should become habitual
  • Maintenance practices that keep equipment and other items from contaminating product
  • How to use and check foreign material control devices

Cleaning Practices

  • Why it is important to keep your facility clean
  • The benefits of cleaning
  • How personnel practices impact a clean facility
  • Methods of maintaining food safety
  • Types of cleaning schedules
  • Various cleaning methods and when to use them
  • How to properly clean equipment, utensils, and waste areas
  • How to store cleaning equipment and chemicals

Recognizing and Controlling Pests

  • Common rodent, bird, and insect pests
  • How to control rodent populations
  • The difference between structural pests and food plant pests
  • Methods to get rid of insects in your facility
  • The benefits of pest control

Basic Microbiology

  • Microorganisms that affect the food industry
  • Different kinds of microorganisms
  • How bacteria can contaminate food
  • Viruses spread through food products
  • Types of parasites found in food products
  • Your role in preventing food contamination from microorganisms

Building Maintenance

  • Benefits of preventive maintenance
  • How building maintenance is important to food safety
  • Appropriate types of building materials
  • How to prevent cross-contamination from utilities
  • Benefits of good lighting
  • Problems in building structures
  • Your role in maintenance inspections
  • Situations to look for and correct during inspections

Outside Grounds

  • The importance of keeping outside grounds clean and pest free
  • Guidelines for outside inspections
  • Where to look for pests outside your facility
  • Methods of pest prevention
  • How to keep storage buildings pest free
  • How to keep pests from entering a building along the foundation
  • How to maintain parking lots, driveways, and roads

Equipment Maintenance

  • Definitions important to equipment maintenance
  • GMP requirements
  • Sources of contamination in a food plant
  • The importance of proper equipment maintenance
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Common issues during startup and breakdown
  • The importance of training
  • Routine maintenance procedures
  • Common problems

Temperature Control

  • Types of potentially hazardous foods (PHFs)
  • Which types of food do not need to be refrigerated or frozen
  • Health risks linked to temperature control
  • Temperatures needed to kill bacteria
  • Common types of bacteria
  • The "danger zone" temperature levels
  • How temperature affects food safety and quality
  • Stages in food processing where temperature control is necessary

Incoming Material Inspections

  • Risks of not inspecting incoming shipments
  • Incoming materials inspection guidelines
  • How to prepare for an inspection
  • The importance of keeping records
  • What documents to check when the vehicle arrives
  • What to look for before materials have been unloaded
  • Sampling guidelines to follow
  • What to look for after materials have been unloaded
  • Information to include on the inspection checklist

Storage Practices

  • Storage regulations required by law
  • Common storage vocabulary
  • How to inspect incoming materials
  • Issues that can lead to material rejection
  • The importance of rotating materials
  • Different types of rotation programs
  • Requirements for storage areas
  • How to handle damaged material
  • Special storage conditions for refrigerated and frozen products
  • How to store allergenic materials

Traceability and Recall

  • Reasons for food industry recalls
  • Common traceability and recall vocabulary
  • FDA and FSIS responsibilities
  • Types of traceability codes
  • Steps to take during a recall
  • Purposes and objectives of a recall
  • How recalls are classified
  • Recall team member responsibilities
  • Goals of a traceability exercise
  • Items to include in a mock recall

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