Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Excellence in Food Safety Class Celebrates 20 Years

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of its Excellence in Food Safety Class (EFS) on September 10th, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. during the Food Safety Forum, which is held each month at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. The celebration offers an opportunity to thank the many individuals, food safety operators and food handlers who have made food safety their mission during National Food Safety Education Month this September 2013.

The Excellence in Food Safety (EFS) Class was developed in 1993 by dedicated staff in the Jefferson County Public Health Food Safety Program and an enthusiastic group of local restaurant owners and operators. The EFS class was one of the first in the state provided by a local health department.

Dave Hooker, supervisor of the JCPH Food Safety Program explains, “Several food handlers from the Lakewood Country Club attended the first class. Since then over 9,000 food handlers from hundreds of Jefferson County restaurants, schools, and grocery stores have taken the class and improved their food handling and preparation techniques.”

The decision to develop a classroom style food safety class was triggered by several foodborne illness incidents that occurred in the early 1990s and raised awareness nationwide of the importance of food safety. These included the 1993 Jack in the Box E coli 0157:H7 outbreak and the 1993 Milwaukee outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis associated with water.

Today’s EFS Classes continue to be current and cover the latest in food safety information in addition to any updates in the Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules & Regulations. Students are able to participate in hand washing demonstrations, pop quizzes, and a final quiz to test their food safety knowledge. The cost of the class hasn’t changed much in twenty years. It is only $10.00. “We want to keep the cost low so that as many food handlers as possible can attend”, said Dave Hooker.

To sign up for a class, contact Jefferson County Public Health at 303-271-5700 or view our web page and download the class brochure. A convenient online class is also available in 5 languages at www.jeffco.statefoodsafety.com.

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