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. Texas Food Establishment Rules state that each food establishment is required to have one certified food manager on site. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Taylor, Nolan and Haskell Counties, is offering a professional food manager certification training course. This two day program will be offered for $125.00 on May 20 and May 21 at the Taylor County Extension Office. Cost includes training, materials, and the Prometric food manager certification examination. The food manager’s certification will be valid for five years. Only 50 individuals will be accepted into the course. Registration deadline May 6, 2019. 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 #325-672-6048. You may also access a downloadable registration form at Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.

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