Food safety, done right, will save lives, eliminate illness and reduce economic impact. Everyone along the agrifood supply chain has a role to play, and everyone’s role is important. It all starts with primary produces and the agricultural environment, where Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) produces high quality, that’s high microbial quality, products from farms, which have a substantial impact further along the agrifood supply chain. While the food production environment plays a vital first step, those efforts can go to waste if there’s poor cleaning during manufacturing (which is not an example of Good Manufacturing Practice) or poor temperature control during distribution and storage. Then after the retail environment, consumers have a responsibility too, to maintain appropriate temperature control and not cross-contaminate, among other essential food safety practices.

In food service operations, diners have a rightful expectation that their meals will be prepared in a safe way. The same goes for people buying artisanal manufactured products from cottage food manufacturers, as they are known in the United States, or simply people that that are manufacturing food in their domestic kitchen and then selling to the public. You cannot do this without consideration of the proper legal framework in place to protect consumers, public health and ultimately society. As we heard in last year’s (2023) World Food Day theme, Food Standards Save Lives.

The first step to keeping your diners or customers safe, and avoiding costly and reputation-damaging products recalls, is to ensure good food safety practices are observed. This is an easy and straightforward ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach, which when done well, does make the world of difference. Of course, unexpected aspects happen, which is the theme of this year’s World Food Safety Day (expect the unexpected), but by and large the well honed processes and procedures in place will make the world of difference, such as using a HACCP-based food safety plan.

We know it’s important, so as people that are not food safety microbiologists, how they take appropriate actions to train themselves to save lives, illness and reputations. Well, it all depends where you live. In Australia for example, it is local councils that regulate such matters, which includes ensuring that designated food safety supervisors have completed appropriate training, which gives them the responsibility to supervisor the preparation or manufacture of food, under certain circumstances or conditions. Permits, audits and the like are carried out by the lowest level of government in Australia, that operates at the community level.

In the United States, each state has slightly different requirements with regard to food safety, and especially cottage food manufacturers. Thus, it is absolutely essential to obtain state-based, rather than federal, advice and guidance on what you need to so that you are legally compliant in the food safety space, within your jurisdiction. Each food handler in the United States requires an employee food handler card, not just supervisors, so everyone that handles food. To make the situation slightly tricky, there are differences between states, at a range of levels. Therefore, to legally handle food in a food service establishment or during cottage food manufacturing, you need to complete food handler trining for your state.

FoodSafePal is your one stop shop in the US for employee food handler cards, for all states. Founded in 2022 by Gavin Van De Walle (photo below), their training is accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB). FoodSafePal really does make it very easy and particularly straight-forward. During the sign-up process you simply select the state you want to get covered in, and away you go with the training! It takes around two hours to complete, and you receive your employee food handler card and certificate by e-mail immediately upon completion. It couldn’t be easier to get certified as a food handler in the US.



This is what you receive upon completion of the training, your certificate and employee card.


Also, by way of our partnership with FoodSafePal, we are delighted to be able to offer our Food Microbiology Academy community, a discount off the training fee – just use foodsafety1 as the coupon code during the registration process, and you’ll get the discount!

If you have questions, you can make direct contact with the FoodSafePal team via e-mail ( or give them a call on (800) 426-1344.