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Family Times
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 • Posted July 29, 2009

Texas AgriLife Extension Service to Offer Food Manager Certification Training Course

Statistics indicate that foodborne illness continues to be a health issue in the United States. Each year, 1 in 4 Americans will become sick, 1 in 1,000 will become hospitalized, and 5,000 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. Under these new rules, each food establishment permitted by the Texas Department of State Health Services must have one certified food manager. New food manager certificates will be valid for 6 years.

I am currently offering a food manager certification training course. This program will be offered for $110 on August 5-6 at Zavala’s restaurant meeting room. Cost includes training, materials, and the State food manager certification examination. Please call and pre-register! I’m only planning on doing this class once a year if needed, so if you need to take it, please make plans to attend this one.

We will begin the class at 9 a.m. on August 5th, and learn until the lessons are completed. On the 6th we will simply meet to review and take the test at 3 p.m., so you will have the evening before the test to study with the materials we will give you. This will limit the time you have to be way from your restaurant!

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 the Food Manager Certification Training course of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, called "Food Safety: It's Our Business," call me at the Mason County Extension office at 325-247-6459.

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