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Iowa Launches New Food Safety Training Program

ANSI/CFP partnership provides assistance for food protection managers

New York, Jan 19, 2005

The Iowa Grocers Industry Association (IGIA), in collaboration with Iowa State University Extension, recently launched a new food safety training program tailored for the grocery and retail food industries in Iowa. Originally created by the Food Marketing Institute, an ANSI member, the program is designed for food managers and lead employees in major food service departments such as bakeries, meat/seafood, deli, produce, catering, and others. It educates participants on both food hazards and appropriate food handling practices.

"Consumers have rightly come to expect that their grocery stores and other retailers are selling food products that adhere to very stringent standards for food handling and safety," said Jerry Fleagle, president of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association.

While not a licensing requirement in and of itself, completion of the course is one way for stores to meet the "demonstration of knowledge" regulations in the Iowa Food Code. Upon completion of the course, participants are given the opportunity to take the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals Exam, which is recognized by the Conference for Food Protection (CFP) and has been verified to meet CFP standards by the American National Standards Institute.

ANSI and the CFP have partnered to accredit food protection manager certification programs, thus increasing the value and impact of food protection management services within the industry. ANSI independently evaluates certification programs against a set of program requirements developed by the CFP. Reliance upon the ANSI/CFP accreditation program reduces the need for government agencies to individually monitor credentialing organizations.

In a May 2004 letter to the CFP, Robert E. Brackett, PhD, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), explained that the FDA “encourages food regulatory authorities and others evaluating credentials for food protection managers to recognize the Conference for Food Protection/ANSI means of accrediting certification programs. This procedure provides a means for universal acceptance of individuals who successfully demonstrate knowledge of food safety.”

A Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) is accountable for the development, implementation and enforcement of specific policies, procedures, or standards aimed at preventing food borne illness at restaurants, grocery stores, institutions (e.g., hospitals, schools, prisons, etc.), and other retail food establishments. These individuals are responsible for identifying hazards, supervising or directing food preparation activities, coordinating training, and taking corrective action as needed to protect the health of the consumer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 76 million Americans get sick, more than 300,000 enter the hospital, and 5,000 people die because of food-borne illnesses each year. The FDA Food Code states that the person in charge of a food establishment is accountable for developing, carrying out, and enforcing procedures aimed at preventing food-borne illness.

More information about ANSI accreditation programs can be found on the conformity assessment section of ANSI Online, contact Dr. Roy Swift, director for personnel certification accreditation programs.

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