Who qualifies as Food Handlers?

If your business consists of food handlers as staff members, you will need to ensure that you are compliant with SA legislation. A food handler is an individual who is tasked with handling food that he or she is not going to personally consume. These individuals are involved in the manufacturing, packaging, processing, production, preparation and even serving of food, water and beverages.

In terms of the regulations in place by the Occupational Health and Safety Act in South Africa, it is imperative that individuals in these industries and positions undergo thorough and regular medical examinations. Food handler medicals are used to determine if an individual is a carrier of any harmful pathogenic organisms. Bacteria, viruses and parasites are known to cause over 250 known food borne diseases and it is with medical tests and examinations that potentially dangerous spreads of disease can be stopped. As a business owner in the food handling industry, it is important, and your responsibility, to safeguard your business and its employees by carrying out the required medicals.

The idea of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is to ensure that individuals handling food in any way are free from illness. While food handlers are required to report illness, often illness goes unnoticed until it is too late. Therefore, regular examinations are implemented and recommended. Of course it is not a case of just carrying out medicals every couple of months. The process requires that individuals entering the food handling field are medically examined and tested before employment. Routine medicals are then compulsory at regular intervals. Thereafter, a final medical test or examination must be carried out when the employee leaves the company.

What exactly is done during a routine medical examination for a food handler?

At MAKROSAFE, we offer thorough food handler testing that includes a general health psychological questionnaire, urine tests, blood pressure and blood glucose tests, recording of height and weight, hearing ability below certain levels, vision screening and lung function tests. X-rays and drug testing can also be carried out on individuals if required.

If you have 10 or more employees, we can conduct all of the required testing at your premises which is quite a convenience for large concerns. Any groups of below 10 individuals must visit our premises. Regardless of the size of your team of staff members, we will be more than happy to assist with medical assessments at a time that is convenient to both parties.

Medical testing can help a business to keep an eye on the health of all employees on an ongoing basis. This type of assessment or data can be invaluable to a company in the long run. If an employee's health deteriorates while in the employ of the business, it is something that can be investigated. It is the duty of the MAKROSAFE team to ensure that your business is fully compliant with the legislation in place in order to avoid fines or litigation. You will find that our consultants are professional at all times and pay great attention to detail with all tests, examinations and analysis projects.

If your business operates within the food handling industry, it is best to ensure that each and every one of your staff members undergoes the various medical tests and examinations that are in place. Most of them are quick and easy to carry out and will provide you with the peace of mind that your business is covered and you are doing the right thing for your staff members as well as your consumers.

MAKROSAFE can ensure that everything is handled for you when it comes to staff medicals. We will ensure that a file is created for each employee and that ongoing tests are carried out for you. These tests will be scheduled for you, so you won't need to remember a thing. You can expect for our consultants to be qualified and experienced in the field too.

If you are looking for more information and advice on food handler's medicals and what is entailed, take the time to get in touch with us at MAKROSAFE. We will ensure that you are advised on the regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and help you to get your company compliant with such legislation. Feel free to contact us via email or telephone at any time.

Posted date: 16th Mar 2015
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