Wildcat Connection August 2017 - Page 6




he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly one in six Americans (or 48 million people) get sick; and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. This makes foodborne diseases an important public health issue in the United States, and that’s why the two ServSafe Food Handler Classes hosted in July by Wildcat Extension District at our Southeast Research and Extension Center in Parsons were so valuable.

Utilizing materials from the National Restaurant Association, the ServSafe Food Handler program promotes food quality, and helps participants understand and control foodborne illness risk factors. They discuss concepts such as proper personal hygiene, food safety hazards, cleaning and sanitizing and more during the three-hour class. Besides viewing a video and working through an interactive PowerPoint presentation, the twenty-seven participants in the two classes practiced up on their handwashing and food thermometer calibration skills.

Some comments from participants included:

-I did not realize how easily potatoes cooked in foil could become contaminated if not properly cooled and refrigerated.

-I plan to watch the cleaning of hands more carefully and the cleaning at my home in my kitchen.

-I plan to make overall better choices when handling things (food and equipment) and to make others aware.

-I plan to make certain improvements with cleaning and storing procedures at work and at home.

-I learned to be more observant to the area in which I work and serve my customers. I plan to pass the information along to everyone I know.