Best Food Safety Certifications For Food Safety Professionals

Are certifications essential to get ahead in the food and beverage processing industry? 

The reality is as the food and beverage processing industry in Canada evolves, many of the manual processing jobs will be replaced by AI and robotics, leaving room for food and beverage processing professionals to take on higher responsibilities and tasks, many of which require a thorough understanding of food safety protocols.

This is great news for food safety professionals looking to advance their careers and take on extra responsibility! 

There are lots of food safety courses you can do to upskill and position yourself for higher-paying, more senior food safety supervisor or quality assurance manager positions. 

Top 5 Food Safety Courses For Career Growth In Food And Beverage Processing 

Canadian food and beverage processing manufacturers are legally obligated to meet Safe Food for Canadian Regulations (SFCR). This outlines basics around food labelling, packaging, standards of identity, grades, and net quantity. 

However, many food and beverage manufacturers go above this and ensure that all food safety and quality assurance professionals are GMP, HACCP, and GFSI certified. Not all these certifications are required, so it's important to know which ones are “nice to haves” and which food safety course is right for you. 

1. HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) Certification 

This certification is a pre-requisite for anyone wanting to advance their role as a food safety professional. The SGS offers a course and certification in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) practices for food safety professionals interested in food safety auditing, preparation, and service. 

The course has levels of difficulty, so you can start with the introductory course for new entrants into food and beverage processing and work your way up to higher certifications required for senior food and beverage professionals. 

2. Safe Quality Food (SQF) Food Safety Certification

The SQF training course provides a deep understanding of food safety and quality assurance protocols for quality assurance managers. The Safe Quality Food Institute offers three levels of certification, giving you solid food safety training, covering Good Agricultural Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices, and Good Distribution Practices. 

In level 2, you will focus on risk assessment with HACCP and quality management systems training. 

3. AAPS- Food Handling Certificate

A certification in preventive controls for food service handlers and candidates can add to your qualifications and impress employers for any food handler roles that involve food preparation and handling, such as meat handlers, where food-borne illness is a considerable risk. 

An excellent food safety course is The Food Handler Certification presented by the Canadian Institutes of Food Safety (CIFS) provides a nationally recognised and audit-compliant qualification for food safety candidates. The course is fully online and includes understanding food safety and food safety training, such as preventing food-borne illness, working with food safety, and managing a food safety plan. 

4. Certified Food Scientist (CFS)

A CFS qualification is a more advanced certification for anyone who wants a senior role as a  quality assurance manager or food safety supervisor. The certification covers food safety, microbiology, regulatory practices, and quality assurance and control. 

You can apply for this course at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), which is based in the US but allows your skills to be applicable in Canada as well. You can find out more about the course here: 

Raising The Bar: Top 5 Quality Assurance Courses For Career Growth In Food And Beverage Manufacturing

5. FSSC 220000 Development Program

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) offers certified Scheme credentials for food safety professionals. To improve your food safety training, FSSC 220000 is an ISO-based, internationally recognised food safety course that focuses on the entire food supply chain to ensure food safety standards and processes. This course will help improve your company's food standards, reduce audits, and help catapult your career in the food and beverage processing industry. 

Advance Your Food Safety Career with QTalent 

Highlighting your food safety skills and certifications can effectively get you noticed by top food and beverage processing hiring managers. Showcasing the food safety courses and training you have completed in the correct way can catapult your job application to the top of the shortlist. 

To make sure you are connecting to the right employers, QTalent, Canada’s top talent acquisition platform, uses its sophisticated application to match your skill sets to senior food safety roles at the right companies. 

If you are looking to advance your career in food and beverage manufacturing, our new app will help you find your dream job with one single sign-on. Create your profile today and watch the email notifications with senior food safety jobs stream in. 

Romy Zwiers


Romy Zwiers is a journalist and marketing professional with 16 years of experience working across industries with a keen focus on the beverage and food industry, having worked with companies like KFC, Nandos, Cadbury and Coca-Cola.

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