FLORENCE – What do a five-star restaurant, a street-corner hot dog vendor and a jail commissary have in common?
They all need to be clean and have trained servers to understand proper food handling techniques and preparation strategies.
Pinal County’s Division of Environmental Health offers the availability of web-based online food safety training for Pinal County food service workers. The training is in cooperation with the Northern Arizona University’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
“I would say this course is a must for food service operations,” said Pinal County Division of Environmental Health Reg Glos. “In a business where you are judged by not only the taste of your food, but by the type of conditions in which you prep the food, this course is invaluable.”
Glos said the best part of the course is the convenience in taking it.
“We offer the course on the internet at http://az-hospitality.nau.edu/pinal/. The class is only $10.00, which can be paid by the following credit cards: American Express, Visa, MasterCard along with debit cards. Once the course is completed, you can print a certificate so that your customers to know that you are up on the latest food handling information.”
The course emphasizes Food-Borne Disease, Personal Hygiene, Food, Dishwashing and Sanitation. Each area is divided into smaller topics ranging from information on specific food borne diseases to the safe handling of ready-to-eat foods to proper hand washing techniques.
Many counties require a food handler’s card for anyone working in a food establishment but Pinal County currently has no such requirement. Environmental Health officials are nonetheless encouraging everyone working in the retail food business in Pinal County to take advantage of this low cost, web-based training opportunity to improve food safety knowledge.
Glos said since the course was established in 2007, there have been 267 participants.
“Of course we’d like to see more participate. In fact, we have lowered the price for the class to $10.00 from $18.00. At that price, it’s a real bargain. In this economy, every little bit helps.”