Dated: 23-05-2011
Food Safety Training: You ask, we answer
 

Dr Jeremy Taylor answers questions specific to food safety training issues

Clean Middle East has been interacting with food safety trainers and inspectors and we have been able to gauge issues that are important to the nature and scope of their responsibilities. We invite readers to talk about issues or doubts and send your queries to the editor of Clean Middle East at asfia@cleanmiddleeast. ae. Your issues will be addressed by Dr Jeremy Taylor, BA MEd PhD (Manager, TSI Quality
Services).

The question we carry in this issue has been
addressed by Abdul Jaleel who has worked in
the Middle East for many years. He is very well known for his training and consultancy work,
especially with Diversey where he worked for over 14 years. During this time he created a
number of business models in relation to Food Safety and Hygiene. More recently, Jaleel has
been involved with organizing and managing the Dubai Municipality PIC program rollout.
He has a wide range of qualifications including many years of post graduate study and research at the UK University of Salford. He has now set up his own businessheadquarters in Dubai with branches and associates in Asia, Europe and Middle East countries, to promote, develop and deliver a range of products and services.

Abdul Jaleel: What methods can trainers use to motivate trainees who are not used to a formal studying pattern?
Dr Jeremy Taylor: There are a number of tried and tested training methods and techniques
that trainers can choose from to address this question. Obviously there will not be room,
in this short article, to discuss all of these. However, considering that food safety is a
practical subject and with experienced trainees in mind, I have chosen the case-study method.By definition, a case study is a description of a real situation that a trainee studies to increase and develop his or her knowledge, skills and attitudes. A case study must fit the aims of the training course. Therefore it must be selected to present issues for the trainees
to apply their new knowledge from the course. This method is designed to provide practice in diagnosing and solving problems and give ways to apply newly learned knowledge and practice skills. Also, because it takes place in the training room, trainees can test their ideas in a non-threatening environment, (i.e. no practical consequences for their decisions).
Case studies can vary from a paragraph, a page, or several pages, according to their purpose. They can be presented in different ways with use of illustrations or video. Published cases can be developed and adapted by the trainer, according to the study skills of the trainees and the course objectives. A typical example of a case study is the application of theory, to analyze a food borne disease outbreak. This is a common type of case used at all levels of courses and groups of trainees. As the case study chosen would have to be suitable for the course, the trainer would need to check the case study questions to ensure that they are at the right level. These questions are used to focus the trainee’s attention to the important issues and for the closing discussion. The kinds of issues that trainees will consider in this Example are:

What were the symptoms? How long did it take the patients to get better? What food(s)were implicated? What detail is available about the condition of the food premises and staff? What lesson can be learnt to prevent reoccurrences?

There are many questions that trainees can consider giving scope for them to apply and test their ideas. As a bottom-up inductive training method the trainees start from the practical examples and draw out the theory. This is particularly suitable for experienced learners as they can use their experience to think about things in different ways rather than be told what
to think. Examples for cases can sometimes be drawn directly from newspaper cuttings with the trainers’ carefully constructed focus questions added. With the number of food poisoning incidents, past and present, there is usually plenty of material to select from. Case studies have many advantages that will benefit all trainees. They add realism and practicality to the learning situation. Also, they increased learner participation, peer-to-peer interaction, enjoyment, ownership of new learning, retention of information and practicing decisions in a safe environment.

Therefore, with careful preparation and management they are ideal for food safety training.
For further discussion: <www.tsipic.com>