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Food service sanitation certification is a commitment to safety. Every year, billions of dollars are spent by small and large restaurateurs, farmers, and food manufacturers due to foodborne illness. Most foodborne illnesses may be averted through good sanitation practices. Food service sanitation certification guarantees that employees in the food service industry are not only aware of the dangers of foodborne illnesses, but are committed to providing services through safe and sanitary practices.
To attain Food Service Sanitation Certification you will need to attend a class. Classes can vary in length duration, and location; some are completed in 2 to 3 days, a week or even a month. Topics covered in Food Service Sanitation Certification typically include:
Danger Zones: This indicates where food is most likely to have bacteria form. Although the danger zone range varies from state to state, most health officials will say that it is somewhere between 40° F to 140° F (4° C to 60° C).
Holding Temperatures: Restaurants and food establishments hold both hot and cold foods. Holding refers to the proper temperature foods can be held. Again, these numbers will vary according to local regulations, but most say hot holding temperatures should be above 135⁰F (57° C), and refrigeration or cold holding temperatures should be below 40⁰F (4° C).
Safe Serving Practices: A large component of food service sanitation certification is teaching good personal hygiene behaviors. Food workers are taught to wash their hands often, and to minimize bare hand contact. It is also continuously stressed that workers should not report for duty when ill.
Cross Contamination: This refers to practices that contaminate food without proper sanitation. Examples of cross contamination include using a cutting board for multiple purposes without properly washing in between or using a knife or slicer without properly sanitizing between items.
Identifying Hazardous Foods: Those with food service sanitation certification will know that rice is one of the riskiest foods to hold, due to its susceptibility to botulism. Other hazardous foods include dairy, eggs, and meats.
Cooking Temperatures: To attain food service sanitation certification, you’ll need to know required cooking temperatures for food. Again, this number will vary from location, but generally, poultry should have an internal temperature of 165⁰F (74° C), beef and pork should reach 145⁰F (63 ° C), ground meat 155⁰F (68° C), and fish at 145⁰F (63° C).
Government regulation of food exists at three levels: local, state, and federal. At the state and local level, health department inspectors and business regulators may share common duties or formulate joints standards of practice. At the federal level is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All forms of government now require some level of food service certification for food industry employees. In some cases, only the manager or proprietor needs to have certification, in other states, all employees are required to receive basic food safety training.
Is serve safe inclusive of or the same as a Sanitation Certificate?
How do I renew my Foodservice Sanitation Certification? In all of my searches, I have not been able to find this information.