Texas A&M 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 6 Americans will become sick, 128,000 will become hospitalized, and 3,000 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. Local health department requirements may be different.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Fort Bend County, is offering a professional food manager certification training course.  This program will be offered for $125.00 on November 12 and 13, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Fort Bend Agricultural Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg.  Cost includes training, materials, and a national food manager certification examination. The food manager’s certification will be valid for five years.

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 A&M AgriLife Extension Service, called “Food Safety: It’s Our Business,” call Jacque Gerke at 281-342-3034.

Educational programs conducted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.  Persons with disabilities who plan to attend this meeting and who may need auxiliary aids or services are required to contact Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service  at 281.342.3034 five working days prior to the meeting so appropriate arrangements can be made.  The Texas A&M University System, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the County Commissioners’ Court of Texas cooperating.

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