To coach little girls playing ice hockey in Canada requires 16 hours of training. To coach kids on a travel team requires an additional 24 hours of training.
So it seems reasonable to have some minimal training for those who prepare food for public consumption.
The Australian state of New South Wales, which includes Sydney, has decided to agree, and will insist that every restaurant have at least one staff member who has completed a certified course in food handling.
NSW Primary Industry Minister Ian Macdonald said the State Government is introducing the laws after a spate of outbreaks, adding,
"Thirty-six per cent of food-borne illness outbreaks in NSW are the result of poor food handling. We believe that this is costing in effect $150 million in terms of lost productivity."
Unfortunately, what constitutes a certified course is often crap. The next step is to evaluate what works and what doesn’t – what kind of training actually translates into food service staff practicing safe food prep.