Girbakran Balachandran receives certification from Ministry of Health Malaysia as Centre’s first Food Handlers TrainerThe Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the Ministry of Health Malaysia’s (MoH) Food Safety and Quality Division following a venue inspection which confirms the Centre meets all food safety and quality requirements. The sanction by the MoH means the venue can now conduct its own in-house food safety and quality training.
So it was double joy when MoH also awarded the Centre’s Human Resources (HR) Training Department Coordinator, Girbakran Balachandran with a Certificate of Recognition, making him the Centre’s first qualified Food Handlers Trainer.
Congratulating Girbakran on his achievement, Director of HR Rohizat Baharum said that the Centre has been working since 2011 towards getting a team member qualified to conduct in-house food safety training sessions. “It’s been a challenge and Girbakran’s success is noteworthy as I personally know how much hard work it has taken to get where we are today. We are very proud of Girbakran and are ecstatic everyone’s hard work has paid off.”
According to Rohizat, the Centre’s manpower needs means “we are likely to welcome new team members, or Ambassadors, every month. With Girbakran’s certification and ministry approval of the Centre’s facilities as a suitable training venue, we can now conduct our food safety training on a more regular basis and not depend on the availability of an external trainer.”
And Girbakran’s first session was for 68 Ambassadors from the culinary, stewarding, catering and beverage departments in conjunction with the Ambassadors General Orientation programme. Speaking about his inaugural session, Girbakran explained, “I eased into my session with a pre-test of each participant’s food hygiene general knowledge before continuing with the syllabus learnt during the MoH certification process. Topics covered included foundation of hygiene, factors contributing to food-borne diseases, personal hygiene and do’s and don’ts at a workplace; all of which are essential for the Ambassadors to remember and practice when working at the Centre.
“I hope everyone enjoyed the session as much as I did conducting it and I look forward to many more sessions,” concluded Girbakran.
In Malaysia, control over the safety and quality of food along the food supply chain is under the jurisdiction of the MoH. Under the Food Act 1983, the MoH, in particular the Food Safety and Quality Division (FSQD) is responsible for protecting the public against health hazards and fraud in the preparation, sale and use of food and all matters related to it.
In line with this, the FSQD through its Food Hygiene Regulations 2009 stipulates that, to attain the Food Handlers Trainer Certification, participants must receive a typhoid injection and undertake a mandatory four-day course where they need to excel in the MoH’s written exam and presentation assessments. Topics covered under the programme included Food Hygiene, food-related regulations and acts, food microbiology, sanitation, food safety and ISO 22000.