COVID-19: Challenges of Food Handlers for Food Handling Course in Malaysia

Based on the results of the first study from an analysis of the burden borne worldwide due to foodborne illness released by the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 600 million people (1 in 10 people) fall ill after consuming contaminated food.

Foodborne illnesses impede socio-economic development by depressing the health care system, as well as harming the country’s economy, tourism, and trade.

Based on a study in 1996 by Howes et. al. the main source of 97 percent of food contamination is due to the food handlers themselves.

Diseased or contaminated food handlers who do not practice good personal hygiene practices can spread foodborne illness to others through the food provided by them.

The Food Hygiene Regulations 2009 require every food handler to attend a program for food handling course in Malaysia (Regulation 30) to expose them to safe food handling methods. A certified food handler will be awarded a food handling certificate.

In addition, they are also required to undergo a medical examination and get an injection of anti-typhoid vaccine (Rule 31) to ensure free from any foodborne illness.

Failure of food handlers to meet the legal requirements is an offense and can be fined up to RM10,000 or imprisoned for up to two years.

The Covid-19 virus infection that hit the whole world in 2019 has caused the education system, economy, and socio of the world community to change completely. The New Norm. That is the title given as a result of the changes that need to be made to curb the spread of the Covid-19 chain of infection from continuing to spread in the community.

Apart from having to always sit at home during the period of the Movement Control Order (MCO), food hygiene and safety must also always be a priority for every food handler.

WHO and the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) have issued guidelines on five keys to food safety, namely:

1- Maintain hygiene – wash hands, utensils, and surfaces in contact with food regularly

2- Use safe water and raw materials

3- Separate food items to avoid cross-contamination

4- Cook in the right way and at the right temperature

5- Store food at a safe temperature – avoid storing food in the danger temperature zone (5 – 63 ° C)

The Food Safety and Quality Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) or known as Bahagian Keselamatan dan Kualiti Makanan (BKKM) has taken the initiative to allow all accredited Food Handler Training Schools to continue the food handling course in Malaysia conducted via online session. This is to continue the continuity of the food safety assurance system that can be managed well even if the participants are at home. Food handlers can acquire knowledge of food hygiene and safety as well as obtain a food handling certificate more easily at their own place.

Effective from April 2020, the online food handling course in Malaysia was introduced after the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented to control and break the chain of Covid-19 infections that can plagued the country. This is a wise move by the Ministry to make it easier for participants to obtain a food handling certificate without having to attend physical classes. They can get a their food handling certificate from home. Online food handling course in Malaysia are easier, saving time and money by eliminating the need to travel to an in-class training.

The online food handling course in Malaysia is brought live session through online platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, and other applications that are deemed appropriate. Participants can access the online course using a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone (Android, iOS) anywhere, everywhere.

Participants can use the chat button or on microphone function to interact with trainer during the course.

To enable participants to be awarded with food handling certificate, they need to follow the rules of the online course, such as:

✔️ Always ‘on camera’ and be in front of the camera throughout the 3-hour course

✔️ Understand course modules and pass PRA, POS, and Online Quiz exams

” More than 99% of people who take this course pass it successfully!”

Upon successful completion of the course and test, the training school will email the softcopy of  food handling certificate to all eligible participants within 1 hour after the course and the original food handling certificate will be posted within 2 days.

What Will Be Learned In The Food Handling Course?

The program contains information that will teach or repeat the principles of proper food handling to participants. The modules presented in the course sessions developed by the MOH cover four (4) main topics :

  1. Introduction
  2. Food Hygiene
  3. Food Safety
  4. Critical factors of food poisoning.

How Long Does It Take to Attend a Food Handling Course?

The Ministry of Health Malaysia stipulates that participants must achieve the course requirements for not less than 3 hours to enable participants to have a food handling certificate and to be certified as a Competent Food Handler.

How Much a Cost for Food Handling Course In Malaysia?

Fees are as low as RM50 only. This fee is also set by the Ministry of Health Malaysia. However, the school may charge other costs as deemed appropriate such as certificate delivery costs, administrative costs, travel costs (for in-house courses), and others. Please contact the selected training school for more information

How to Get a Missing Food Handling Certificate?

The validity period of the certificate is LIFETIME and has NO EXPIRATION DATE. Because this food handling certificate is valid for life, participants need to take a good care of this certificate. This certificate will be requested by the enforcement team for verification purposes each time an inspection of the premises is conducted.

If it is found that the certificate has been lost or damaged, participants can contact the training school they attended before and get a replacement food handling certificate. Each training school has a different process and procedure for applying a certificate replacement.

The cost of certificate replacement depends on the respective training school. However, we strongly encourage participants to re-attend this course to refresh their knowledge for the benefit of the participants’ business.

If you have any doubts or questions regarding food handling certificate, you can call or WhatsApp us for clarification

SLPM Bersih Berseri

13A Jalan 11, Taman Putra

68000 Ampang, Selangor
Tel No. : 03-42933166

H/P No. : 019-3811891 / 012-6675833
Email : bersih.berseri@gmail.com

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