OPINION

Berny Unruh: K-State Research and Extension helps provide training for food handlers

Hays Daily News
Berny Unruh

It is always a treat to eat out at a favorite restaurant or community event, and as consumers, we expect the food to be safe.  We must rely on the food handlers to provide the safest meal possible.

K-State Research and Extension in partnership with the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association provides training for all food handlers. The ServSafe program is a national certification program designed to teach safe handling practices to those who serve food to the public. There are two opportunities for training in the near future.

First, a ServSafe Food Handlers class is scheduled for Wednesday, May 12th from 1:30 – 4:30 pm at the Cottonwood Extension office at 601 Main in Hays. The class covers basic food safety, personal hygiene, preventing cross contamination, time and temperature, cleaning and sanitation. The course is for commercial food safety employees and non-profit volunteers. The cost for the course is $12 per person and covers the cost of the ServSafe Food Handlers manual, training materials and refreshments. Registration is due by May 5th to the Cottonwood Extension District so materials can be ordered.

Second, a Servsafe Manager Certification Course will be held in Hays on Wednesday, May 19th from 8 am to 5 pm at the Cottonwood Extension Office meeting room at 601 Main Street, Hays. Those who successfully pass the national certification exam will receive their ServSafe certificate which is good for five years.  While the ServSafe certification is not required by Kansas law, the law does state that the “person in charge” at the time of a food inspection must be able to demonstrate proper food handling procedures.  Many restaurants in Kansas and across the country require the ServSafe certification for their managers to ensure food is being handled safely and properly in their establishments.

Pre-registration for the regional Servsafe Manager Certification Course is requested no later than May 12th to allow time for ordering books and materials.  Interested individuals may register online with a credit card at www.krha.org and look under events. The fee includes the ServSafe 7th edition textbook, national certification exam, training materials and refreshments

You can get more information and a registration brochure at the Hays and Great Bend offices of the Cottonwood Extension District.

Berny Unruh is the Family and Community Wellness Agent for the Cottonwood Extension District.  She can be reached at 785-628-9430 or at bunruh@ksu.edu