Archive for Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Certification course designed for food service employees

February 20, 2002


Do you sponsor a ServSafe course for food service managers and supervisors?

Yes, we do. In fact, we are offering a ServSafe certification course March 12-13 at K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper St. Restaurant managers, supervisors and other food service employees are encouraged to participate.

Registration forms are due Tuesday. To obtain a brochure with information about the course, including the registration form, call me at 843-7058.

How long is the course, and what will be covered?

The course is 13 hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first day and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the second day with an hour off for lunch each day.

The course uses materials from the Education Foundation of the National Restaurant Assn. to teach the principles and practices of food safety in food service establishments.

The course content includes food safety hazards, handling and processes. It concludes with an 80-question certification exam.

How much does it cost?

The registration fee is $90 and includes training materials, a copy of the ServSafe course book with certification exam answer sheet and refreshment breaks.

In addition, because safe food handling practices are important to customers, the local media will be provided with a news release of participants. After completion of the course, a ServSafe certificate will be awarded.

I know I should rotate foods in my freezer so that I do not keep them for such a long period of time. I have a chicken that has been in the freezer for nine months. Is it OK to eat it?

For the best quality, a whole frozen chicken or turkey can be stored at 0 degrees in the freezer for up to a year.

Frozen chicken pieces can be stored for nine months, frozen giblets for three to four months and frozen turkey pieces for six months.

From a food safety point of view, if the chicken or turkey has been frozen the whole time and has never been temperature abused, it would still be safe to thaw and prepare properly past the recommended times.

Fresh chicken and turkey can be stored in the refrigerator at 35 to 40 degrees for one to two days.

What are fat-soluble vitamins? What foods contain them?

Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that can be stored in your body's organs and fat cells to be used as needed. Therefore, a daily supply is not necessary.

However, because the fat-soluble vitamins are stored, they can accumulate to toxic levels. In contrast, water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body and therefore are not as toxic.

The known fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K.

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, contributes to improved vision in dim light. It also is involved in the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, hair and mucous membranes.

Beta carotene, a form of vitamin A, is being studied for its possible role in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. Food sources include cheese, whole milk, egg yolks, butter, chicken, liver and skim or low-fat milk fortified with vitamin A.

Beta carotene can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Foods rich in beta carotene include carrots, cantaloupe, spinach, broccoli and apricots.

Vitamin D is known as the "sunshine vitamin" because exposure to sun results in its formation. Needed for strong bones and teeth, vitamin D aids in the absorption and utilization of calcium in the body. Because of this function, vitamin D may play a supporting role in reducing the risk of osteoporosis. In addition to sunlight, vitamin D can be found in fortified milk.

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect body cells from damaging substances. It is being studied for its possible part in boosting the immune system and helping to ward off infection. Vegetable oils, whole-grain products and dark, leafy vegetables contain vitamin E.

Vitamin K is important for the synthesis of certain proteins needed to make blood clot. It also is being studied for a possible role in cancer prevention. Vitamin K is found in dark green, leafy vegetables, liver and egg yolks.

Susan Krumm is an Extension agent in family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper St. She can be reached at 843-7058.

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