Statistics indicate that food borne illness continues to be a health issue in the United States. Each year, 1 in 6 Americans will become sick, 128,000 will become hospitalized, and 3,000 will die due to a food borne illness.

If under the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) jurisdiction each food establishment is required to have one certified food manager on site.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Gregg County, is offering a professional food manager certification training course. This program will be offered on May 29th & 30th at 405 East Marshall Street, Longview. Parking is located in the back and training will be in the Extension Auditorium.

Cost is $125 and includes training, materials, and a national food manager certification examination. The food manager’s certification will be valid for five years. To register call 903-236-8428, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Service in Gregg County. This program is designed to not only prepare foodservice managers to pass the certification examination; it will provide valuable education regarding the safe handling of food. Almost 50 cents of every dollar Americans spend on food is spent on meals prepared away from home. Therefore, careful attention to food safety will help keep customers safe and satisfied.

Food borne illnesses are estimated to cost thousands of dollars in lost wages, insurance, and medical bills. With these statistics, knowledge of how to prevent food borne illness is essential. The benefits of improved food safety include:

•Increased customer satisfaction

•Improved relationships with health officials

•Prevention of bad publicity and law suits due to food borne illness

By attending the course, foodservice managers will learn about:

•identifying potentially hazardous foods and common errors in food handling

•preventing contamination and cross-contamination of food

•teaching and encouraging personal hygiene for employees

•complying with government regulations

•maintaining clean utensils, equipment and surroundings

•controlling pests

Food borne illnesses can be prevented by following simple food safety practices. For more information about the Professional Food Manager Certification Training course of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, called “Food Safety: It’s Our Business,” call Dee Lee Smith at 903-236-8428 or email at

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