Mason County News
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Professional Food Manager Certification Training Course and Food Handlers’ Course offered in Mason
Wednesday, September 1, 2010 • Posted September 1, 2010

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. If 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. Food manager certificates will be valid for 5 years.

Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Mason County, is offering a professional food manager certification training course. This program will be offered for $110 on September 14 and 15 at the Mason County Library. Cost includes training, materials, and the State food manager certification examination. Upon payment of the course registration fee, you may pick up your course materials early so that you can start studying!

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 Professional Food Manager Certification Training course of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, called "Food Safety: It's Our Business," call Kristy Powell at 325-347-6459.

Food Handlers’ Course

A new food handlers course accredited by the Texas Department of State Health Services is being offered by Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Food Safety: It's In Your Hands is being brought to the area. The first class is scheduled for Thursday, September 23, starting from 1-3 p.m. at the Mason County Library. If your establishment has at least 4 people to train please call Kristy and we can set up a special class just for you.

This 2-hour course is highly recommended for all food service employees to help promote the service of safe food. The course is a basic overview of food safety practices that are necessary to ensure that safe food is served at your establishment. Practices discussed include good personal hygiene, cross contamination, and time and temperature abuse.

To register for the course, call the Extension office at 325-347-6459. Registration can also be done in-person the day of the course. The cost is $15.00 per person and must be paid in full before the course begins.

Individuals with disabilities who require auxiliary aide service or accommodation in order to participate in the event are encouraged to contact our office within 5 working days prior to the program. Educational programs of Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.

The classes are taught in English but Spanish handouts are available if requested in advance.

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