AVON PARK — Ridge Area Arc will offer a SafeStaff Foodhandler Certificate program to the public from 2-6 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Ridge Area Arc’s main campus.

Anyone in the food service industry or those who are interested in working in the field and want to obtain a certificate can enroll in this class being taught by a Certified Professional Food Manager. Florida law requires that all food service employees be trained in an approved food safety program. A public food service establishment has 60 days from the date of hire to train their employees with a Florida approved food safety training program.

This includes all employees responsible for food storage, preparation, display or any service of food and beverages. It is recommended that even volunteer organizations (churches, clubs and other non-profits) serving food should have their food workers trained in a food safety program.

The SafeStaff Foodhandler Training Program is the contracted program of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The class will cover the six mandated key food safety principles: 1. Ensuring proper personal hygiene; 2. Preventing cross-contamination; 3. Controlling time and temperature when handling food; 4. Proper cleaning and sanitizing; 5. The causes and effects of major foodborne illnesses; and 6. Ensuring proper vermin control.

A study guide will be provided and given to each student. A certificate and an original wallet card will also be presented to the students at the end of the class that will be valid for three years. Students only need to bring to class a No. 2 pencil and a picture ID.

Cost is $15 per student and must be paid in advance by 5 p.m., Jan. 11. There will be no refunds for students not attending the class since books have to be ordered in advance but a substitution of another person can be made. Checks can be made payable to Ridge Area Arc and mailed to 4352 Independence St., Avon Park, FL 33825 or stop by the Arc administration office on College Drive to make a payment. When submitting payment, include your name, birthdate, address and phone number. For more details or to verify there is still an opening, call 863-452-1295, Ext. 124.

The class will be taught in Ridge Area Arc’s training room at the workcenter, 4352 Independence St., off College Drive, Avon Park. Students can show up 30 minutes prior to class time.


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