Foodborne illnesses can be prevented by following simple food safety practices. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension-Wise County provides a Food Protection Management (FPM) training program that seeks to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Two classes pertaining to food safety will be offered in January. These programs target food service managers, food service workers and folks who operate a cottage food business.
Food service managers who need to be certified or recertified can attend training 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Wise County Extension office in Decatur. The exam will be administered at the end of the class. Registration fee is $115 and includes the course book and ServSafe exam. For those interested in taking only the exam, the cost is $65. Registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 10.
Food service employees and those who operate a cottage food business can attend a food handler’s class 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Extension office to learn more about good personal hygiene, cross contamination and time and temperature abuse. Registration fee is $20 and covers course materials and an official food handler card. Registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 17.
A recent change to the Texas Cottage Food Law requires anyone who operates a cottage food business to have a food handler card. The new law also includes more foods that can be prepared and sold from a residential kitchen. Previously, it was limited to mainly baked goods, jams and jellies, and dried herbs.
Under the amended law, which took effect Sept. 1, the list of foods that can be sold has been expanded to include pickles, popcorn snacks, candy, unroasted nut butters and vinegar.
In addition, these foods can be sold at venues outside the home including farmers markets, roadside stands and fairs.
If you have questions about these classes or the Texas Cottage Food Law, call 940-627-3341 or come by the Extension office, 206 S. State St., in Decatur.
The FPM training program is brought to you by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in cooperation with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the county commissioners court.
Tanya Davis is a Wise County Extension agent.