The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that every year about 1-6 million Americans is afflicted with a foodborne illness. It is also estimated about “50 percent of those cases originates from a restaurant or deli.” One way to address proper food safety in a restaurant setting is to train those responsible for keeping patrons safe — the managers.
The Journal of Food Protection conducted a study of restaurants that had foodborne illness outbreaks as well as those that did not have an outbreak. The study concluded that “outbreak and non-outbreak restaurants were similar with respect to many characteristics. The major difference was the presence of a certified kitchen manager; 32 percent of outbreak restaurants had a CKM, but 71 percent of non-outbreak restaurants had a CKM. ... Food safety certification of kitchen managers appears to be an important outbreak prevention measure.”
The primary concern is for the safety of all patrons at a restaurant. There are a few other benefits of having a CKM. First, the reputation of the restaurant is protected, there is no negative media backlash, no loss of customers or decrease in sales and no legal proceedings.
Macon-Bibb Cooperative Extension, in tandem with the Macon-Bibb County Health Department, is hosting a ServSafe Manager training class. This is a national certification, accredited by the American National Standards Institute, and is required for the managers of food establishments. The training will be held Oct. 19-20 at the health department at 171 Emery Highway.
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Course content is based on topics identified by experts in the food-service industry. The two-day training will include topics such as the flow of food, purchasing, receiving and storage, forms of contamination and food safety management systems. The ServSafe Manager Certification exam (available in English, Spanish, Korean, Japanese and Canadian French) will be administered at the end of the second day.
Macon-Bibb Cooperative Extension will host a series of gardening classes at Washington Memorial Library, 1180 Washington Ave. Oct: 1, “Growing Bulbs for Home and Garden”; Oct. 8, “Vegetable Gardening”; and Oct. 25, “Planting and Care of Shrubs and Trees.” Classes will begin at 11 a.m. and are free and open to the public.