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National Restaurant Association - Putting food safety training materials to work

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Putting food safety training materials to work

As National Food Safety Month gets underway, restaurant managers and other industry pros are coming putting a creative spin on food safety education.

Among them: Elizabeth Ramos, a food and nutrition instructor at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville (pictured on right). She likes the food safety month activities because they help her students train their peers.

As part of her Quantity Food Production and Purchasing class each fall, Ramos teaches food safety fundamentals through the NRA’s ServSafe program. The students must be ServSafe-certified before they start lab rotations next month in the campus dining facility. The students study purchasing, receiving, storage, food prep, service, cleaning, catering and retail as part of the lab.

“If they don’t pass ServSafe, they can’t continue with the rest,” Ramos says.

When Ramos discovers students who already are ServSafe-certified, she comes up with special projects related to the National Food Safety Month theme. Last year, student Joseph Wilson created a project on allergens, which he ultimately presented to his coworkers in a local restaurant.

This year, junior Allison Fischer is studying the 20 tips for the 20th anniversary of National Food Safety Month. It addition to adding her own tips, at the end of the month, she must write a report on the activities and create a poster that focuses on one week of tips. Thursday, she delivered a presentation to help her classmates review for their ServSafe certification exams. She also will repeat the presentation for a faculty wellness program.

"The class enjoyed the presentation, and Allison did a great job of explaining the importance of time and temperature control," Ramos says.

“Food safety is universal,” Ramos says. “It applies in the home setting as well as the [food industry] workplace.”

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