Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis with RespondFirst

COVID-19 training and resources designed to help food workers in the food service and food retail industries
March 26, 2020

In recent weeks, the Canadian Institute of Food Safety (CIFS) has received an unprecedented amount of emails and calls from food businesses trying to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

These calls have fallen broadly into two main categories - what to do about business closures and restrictions, and how to protect employees and customers from the coronavirus. Business owners and managers are understandably concerned about their employees or customers contracting COVID-19 and spreading it amongst friends, family and loved ones.

In these difficult times it’s hard to keep up with the latest information as regulations seem to change daily or more frequently, and the advice given by the World Health Organization (WHO) is constantly being revised. That’s why we’ve partnered up with RespondFirst to provide the COVIDSafe™ Professional Program. This program provides online COVID-19 training and resources, and is designed to help food workers in the food service and food retail industries keep up with all the latest information about the pandemic and how it impacts them.

Why Do Food Businesses Need COVID-19 Training?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way of working for many food businesses. Food service businesses are adapting to a delivery or take-out model and food retail businesses are having to work out ways to protect their employees from customers that may be carrying the coronavirus but not showing any symptoms.

The program contains online training and resources to help food businesses learn about managing the COVID-19 risk in their business, and is constantly being updated as more information is learnt about the coronavirus and its impact on the food industry.

By enrolling staff into the COVIDSafe™ Professional Program, food businesses are actively helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and are protecting their employees, their customers and their families.

What’s in the COVIDSafe™ Professional Program?

There are two versions of the COVIDSafe™ Professional Program - one geared towards food service (e.g. restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels) and one geared towards food retail (e.g. supermarkets, grocery stores, delis, gas stations).

The program consists of an online training course, guides, fact sheets, checklists and posters, all of which are being constantly reviewed and updated. The online training course includes important information about how to deal with sick employees or customers, how to ensure cleaning and sanitizing is killing the coronavirus, and additional personal hygiene steps that need to be taken during the pandemic. After completing the course, a Certificate of Completion can be downloaded and displayed on the premises to show customers that their health and safety is being taken seriously.

Visit the RespondFirst website to learn more and to enrol employees into the program.

We hope you find practical value in this program as it is important that you and your staff receive the right and relevant training to help prevent a coronavirus outbreak on your premises and to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As always, the Canadian Institute of Food Safety is here to support you during this difficult time. Please contact us if you have any questions about the program.