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Positive Activities for Young People Team Leader, Luton Borough Council
Food Safety Training and Courses UK
Avoid Game Playing - In Training
I remember a CIEH trainer’s exchange meeting I went to held at Warwickshire University. As we entered each of us was given a plastic food item, some of the items were meat and poultry, others bread and biscuits, vegetables, fruit, salads and ready meals like pies and pizza. The items started everyone talking as we tried to figure out what they were for, then who had the best looking food item. One person who had a gluten problem swapped her bread for an apple.
The food presentation began, and after a short while we were asked to put ourselves into groups by food types, this would be our new team, a banana and chicken got upset because they would be separated, but the trainer allowed them to swap their items and they both happily joined the fruits as bananas. We all made our introductions to our new groups and we began the next part of the session which was food poisoning bacteria.
The first bacteria was salmonella and we were asked to consider if our food group was a traditional source for this organisms, after some clucking from the chickens, and grunts from a pig, the high protein raw food group confirmed they were a major source. At this point an egg that had joined the low risk ambient ingredients became concerned that they may have joined the wrong group.
So the lesson preceded, each group indentifying how, chilling, cooking, cross contamination and cleaning impacted on them and what controls need to be in place to keep them safe. It was an excellent training session, everyone was involved and the instructor only really had to keep us in track. However, some trainers take it just too far with games, you have probably met them or attended one of their training courses, delegates are asked to juggle, bang drums, treasure hunts, and generally embarrass themselves. For some this may be fun, but for others it can be deeply harrowing experience. As importantly, it can be very difficult for the delegate to translate all the “running around” into lessons they can use.
Bottom line- most people don't like doing these things and if you are feeling uncomfortable you are unlikely to learn. At RSA we do engage delegates with relevant exercises that are fun and get everyone fully involved, but we do not take it too far. What we do most importantly is assess who it is we are teaching, for most groups we believe you get the best results and in quarter of the time by focusing directly on the how, i.e. skills you wish to develop. Occasionally we get to train academics in which case we look more closely at the what, i.e. the technical and statically stuff.
So if it is effective food safety and health and safety training you are looking for speak to Kae or Carol on 01933 626444. If the purpose is to help people bond, then go for it, employ fun opportunities such as clay pigeon shooting, paintballing, go karts and whatever else, but don't pretend it is contributing to learning.
Anthony Bowmer, February 2012
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