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Ministry of Health

Food Safety Courses

Caring About Food Safety

An Introduction to Online Food Safety

Watch "An Introduction to Online Food Safety"

Caring About Food Safety

Caring About Food Safety is a short, self-guided course about the safe preparation and handling of food. The course, offered at no cost, is designed to raise awareness about protecting public health by preventing the spread of food-borne illness.

Caring About Food Safety is for anyone who prepares, handles or serves food to people beyond their immediate friends and family. It will be particularly useful for people whose clients are typically more susceptible to food-borne illness, and for whom there are no mandated food-safety training requirements — such as operators of child daycares or small, residential-care facilities.

The course is comprised of six major, interactive sections, which take about 1.5 hours in total: Why Learn about Food Safety; Buying Food; Storing Food; Preparing Food; Cooking Food; Cleaning Up; and Test Your Knowledge. Test Your Knowledge is a multiple-choice quiz participants take once they have worked through the other sections.


The FOODSAFE Program is a comprehensive food-safety training program for the food service industry. An initiative of the Province of British Columbia, FOODSAFE is developed and managed by the BC FOODSAFE Secretariat in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control, the regional health authorities, the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association and WorkSafe BC.

NOTE: FOODSAFE certificates will no longer be valid indefinitely in the British Columbia. Refresher courses will be available in September 2013. For more information, see the FOODSAFE news release (PDF 267K).


FOODSAFE Level 1 is a food-handling, sanitation and work-safety course designed for frontline food-service workers such as cooks, servers, bus-persons, dishwashers and deli workers. The course covers important food-safety and worker-safety information — including food-borne illness, receiving and storing food, preparing food, serving food, cleaning and sanitizing.

Under the B.C. Public Health Act, the Food Premises Regulation states that every operator of a food-service establishment, and at least one employee on every shift, must hold a FOODSAFE Level 1 certificate, or a certificate from a course recognized as equivalent to FOODSAFE.

FOODSAFE Level 1 is delivered as an eight hour face-to-face class, an online class through Open School BC, or by correspondence (Level 1 only). FOODSAFE Level 1 workbooks are available in English, Chinese, Korean and Punjabi, and the FOODSAFE examination is available in many other languages.

For more information on equivalent courses, see Food Handlers Training Courses Equivalent to BC FOODSAFE Level 1 (PDF 18K) (BC Centre for Disease Control).


FOODSAFE Level 2 is designed for food-service owners, managers, kitchen managers, executive chefs and others who are responsible for managing food safety in food-service establishments. The course includes a short review of FOODSAFE Level 1, and modules on Managing for Food Safety and Writing a Food Safety Plan. FOODSAFE Level 2 is delivered as an eight-hour face-to-face class, or an online class through Open School BC. FOODSAFE Level 1 is a prerequisite for FOODSAFE Level 2.


The MarketSafe program is designed to increase awareness and knowledge of food safety and safe food-handling procedures for farmers' market vendors, market managers, farm-gate vendors, home-kitchen small-scale food processors, and others who make, bake or produce food products for public consumption outside regulated food-service establishments.

The MarketSafe course is a five-hour interactive classroom course. It was developed by the BC FOODSAFE Secretariat in partnership with the BC Association of Farmers' Markets, and is supported by the regional health authorities, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.

Food Safety Planning Workshops

The Food Safety Systems Implementation (FSSI) (Processor) Program, delivered by the Small Scale Food Processors Association, provides education and support for B.C. processors in developing food-safety plans. The program delivers introductory educational workshops and one-on-one consultation. It offers funding to eligible food processors to implement Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems.

Workshops are suitable for managers, owners, and workers in wholesale food manufacturing. The workshops do not replace FOODSAFE certification, but are a valuable education tool for staff at all levels. They also offer an opportunity to network and access information that can help enhance a business's bottom line in these challenging economic times.