Statistics indicate that foodborne illness continues to be a health issue in the United States. Each year, 1 in 6 Americans will become sick, 128,000 will become hospitalized, and 3,000 will die due to a foodborne illness. Under the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) jurisdiction, each food establishment is required to have one certified food manager on site.
Texas AgriLife Extension Service, McCulloch County, is offering a professional ServSafe Food Manager Certification Training Course. This program will be offered for $125 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m on Apr. 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8 with testing on Apr. 9 at the Heart of Texas Health Care Hospital Cafeteria. Cost includes training, materials, and a ServSafe Food Manager Certification Examination. Certification is valid for five years. I will be assisting Jacque Behrens, McCulloch Co. FCS Extension Agent in conducting the course. We are also considering offering a one day course at the McCulloch Co. Extension office on April 2 if there is enough interest- please call Jacque (at 325-597-1295) ASAP if you want us to offer this option also!! We will offer the course in Mason or Menard in August.
This program is designed to not only prepare foodservice managers to pass the certification examination; it will provide valuable education regarding the safe handling of food. Almost 50 cents of every dollar Americans spend on food is spent on meals prepared away from home. Therefore, careful attention to food safety will help keep customers safe and satisfied. Foodborne illnesses are estimated to cost thousands of dollars in lost wages, insurance, and medical bills. With these statistics, knowledge of how to prevent foodborne illness is essential. The benefits of improved food safety include:
* Increased customer satisfaction
* Improved relationships with health officials
* Prevention of bad publicity and law suits due to foodborne illness
By attending the course, foodservice managers will learn about:
* identifying potentially hazardous foods and common errors in food handling
* preventing contamination and cross-contamination of food
* teaching and encouraging personal hygiene for employees
* complying with government regulations
* maintaining clean utensils, equipment and surroundings
* controlling pests
Foodborne illnesses can be prevented by following simple food safety practices. For more information about this Professional Food Manager Certification Training course of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, called “Food Safety: It’s Our Business,” call Jacque Behrens at 325-597-1295. We also offer a short 2 hour food safety course appropriate for ANYONE (the long course is most appropriate for managers) who works in the food industry, and we can have one of those in Mason or Menard anytime I have at least 5 people who want to take the class, which costs $20.