Thursday, April 9

SU Ag Center Targets Extension Agents in Food Safety Training

Dr. Malekian training participants
Baton Rouge, La - National Restaurant Association ServSafe Food Protection Certification program provides high-quality food safety materials for the restaurants and food service industry.  The ServSafe program is recognized and accepted by more federal, state, and local jurisdiction than any other food safety program.  Benefits of the ServSafe Food Protection manager certifications are: Validation of professional credibility, national accreditation as food protection manager, which is accepted in all 50 states; have the knowledge and tools to keep food safe; and last but not least, to share knowledge gained with others.

Extension agents educate the citizens statewide on food and nutrition, healthy food choices and preparation and safety techniques.  Dr. Fatemeh Malekian, ServSafe instructor, Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center faculty has been offering food safety certification program to the public for over 20 years.  She conducted a ServSafe training session for extension agents on March 26 in order to share the new and updated information about food safety.   Food safety is a critical necessity for any dining and serving food experiences. Therefore, the goal was to provide the same program for the Extension agents.  The training took place at SU Ag Center building and 22 Extension agents participated in an all-day session.  Topics covered included: Providing Safe food; The Micro world Contamination; Food Allergens; Food borne illnesses; The Safe Food Handler; Ensuring proper Personal Hygiene; and The Flow of Food. The introduction to Flow of Food included  purchasing and receiving; storage;  preparing; cooking and serving; Sanitary Facilities and Pest management; Food Safety Regulation Standard and  Employee Food Safety Training.  At the end of the day, participants took a 90-questions test.  The tests were sent out to ServSafe headquarters, where they were graded and the results along with certificates returned to Dr. Malekian for distribution to the participants.  All the 22 participants were successful on the test.  The certificates are valid for five years.

“This training was one of the most successful ones because the Extension agents were very engaging, interested, and enthusiastic about learning the food safety principals,” said Malekian.


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