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Tuesday, 16 February 2010

e.coli? is that like email?

Oooh, I am a very wise person now. I have just been on a four day Health and Food Safety Course organised through Nottingham's Castle College and Working Links. It was very interesting and may well help me find work.

I now know how to put somebody into the recovery position; can recognise shock; the symptons for a heart attack; deal with bleeding and make a very chic sling. We also covered burns (not Rabbie Burns) poisoning, diabetes, anaphylaxis (not a Greek girl on the course - Ana Phylaxis - lol) asthma, hypoglycaemia and we had a fun time exhausting ourselves practising CPR on a dummy. Thirty compressions! It was like going to the gym! We also did swallowed tongues and checking for breathing difficulties and the correct proceedures to follow in all of the above and had a good practice with various sorts of bandages. Judith, the tutor was very good. Our group was fairly small and we all got on. That was over the first two days.

There was a weekend break and we started the Food Hygiene course on the Tuesday and Wednesday and our little group of five had grown to twenty five. Unfortunately there were a few idiots who were there on sufferance, one who liked to tap his pen continually on the table whilst the tutor was talking, one other 'know it all' who worked for his family shop and was very highly qualified in immaturity and a chavvy girl who moaned in the breaks at how 'booorin'' it all was. The tutor managed to deal with it all in her own way by ignoring them and not letting the interupting folk have too much of a say. I just couldn't believe how ignorant they could be.

Over the two days we packed in a large amount of information and I learnt a whole new vocabulary in micro-biological terminology. We learnt about pathogens, viruses, contamination, cross contamination, spores, toxins, bacterial multiplication, mycotoxins and all ranges of food poisioning bacteria such as salmonella, campylobacter and clostridium perfringens.

We were taught about high and low risk foods and how the bacteria reacts to temperature and what is deemed to be the danger zone in temperature for encouraging contamination of high risk foods. All of this was new to me and I don't ever remember learning such things in the days when I was a butcher. In one of the tests I even put down that I thought that human body temperature was  63⁰ C. Considering that it is 37⁰ C, my example human must be very hot stuff!

As well as the micro - biological side of things we also learnt about human carriers and about pests such as rats and mice, flies, cockroaches and pharoah ants and the dangers their presence can cause in a kitchen area.  Each time she mentioned rats 'idiot boy' would go 'urgh, ratatouilles!' and giggle. I kept thinking "Only an afternoon to go now and I will away from this moron.

We concluded the course by covering methods of cleaning with sanitizers and the importance of proper cleaning schedules and then we had a thirty question - multiple choice - exam in strict exam conditions.

germs on hand

Hopefuly I have passed. I say 'hopefully' because some of the questions weren't that easy and it seemed that most of the given 'answers' on some questions could be the correct one. E.coli? Is that like an email that makes you sick?


French Fancy said...

I wondered what you had been up to. If it were me in that class I would have been thrown out for telling all those people moaning, chavving and generally trying to distract those who really wanted to learn, where to go.

I'm sure you have passsed it and I really hope it helps you get a position in a foodie environment. Failing that, if one of your acting roles ever calls for medical expertise - well you might even end up as an extra on Casualty or Holby City.

Dean said...

Sounds like it is all very handy to have and im sure you will have breezed it.
Re-sat my hygiene certificate in September just keep on top of things haven't done all the rest though it sounds interesting.

Phil Lowe said...

I believe that I will have passed the exam too FF. Hey once upon a time I used to feature as an extra in Peak Practice. The most fun bit was hareing around the coridoors with an actor on a bed pretending to whisk him off to emergency.

Dean: Yeah it good to keep up to date with such things as the laws do change and it might affect someone's life.