Three weeks ago, partner organizations came together to attend Every Day ServSafe. The original 8-16 hour food safety course was developed by the National Restaurant Association and gears lessons towards food service operations in restaurants. Information within the original ServSafe course is really dense and really specific. . . there is an entire chapter dedicated to fungus and microorganisms!
So Nutrition Education and Agency Relations decided to pare down the intensive course into a 2 hour basic workshop geared towards food pantries, soup kitchens, Kids Cafe sites and others served by the food bank.
So how do you take 16 hours and smush it into 2 hours? It starts with the KEYS to food safety (developed by the Nutrition Education Department) – Keep it Clean, Cook Food Fully and Store Food Safely. Then we take those KEYS, and turn them into skills.
The skill building part of the workshop is where participants learn how to calibrate a thermometer, make bleach water, practice proper hand washing techniques and match foods with the correct cooking temperatures. Then participants map out where food travels through their own organization to identify where KEYS to food safety can be applied in their own daily operations; and which staff or volunteers would need to be trained in a specific skill area.
At the end of the workshop, participants came up to me to say how much they enjoyed learning in a fun and interactive way, which is the rewarding part!
As with all new trainings we have created, there continues to be tweaking. But the goal remains the same – provide knowledge and skills to empower our partners to serve, store, and cook food safely!