Statistics indicated that foodborne illness continues to be a health issue in the United States. Each year, one in four Americans will become sick, one in 1,000 will become hospitalized, and 5,000 will die due to a foodborne illness.Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Gillespie County, is offering a food manager certification training course. This program will be offered for $115 on September 21-22nd at the Gillespie County Extension Office. Cost includes training, materials, and the State food manager certification examination. Deadline for registration is September 1st.The 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 illnessBy 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 pestsFoodborne illnesses can be prevented by following simple food safety practices. For more information about the Food Manager Certification Training course of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, called "Food Safety: It's Our Business," call Shea Nebgen at (830) 997-3452.