Story in Brief
In the U.S., each year food-borne disease results in an estimated 48 million persons with gastrointestinal foodborne illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths. In response to this issue, the Gilmer County UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences programming has focused on food safety promotion through teaching the ServSafe® Food Protection Manager training in collaboration with neighboring counties. Since 2017, seven ServSafe® Food Protection Manager trainings have been held in Habersham, Hall, and Rabun counties. Sixty-one people have attended the ServSafe training classes. Participants attending classes in Habersham, Hall and Rabun counties included businesses and residents from surrounding communities. Among the participants were school foodservice workers, restaurant owners, and other local food vendor operations who are required to have food safety training for either their employment or to operate their business. Through these trainings 54 individuals received the national food safety manager certification after their successful completion of the course and examination. The diverse group of food service professionals in both commercial and institutional settings can help promote proper food safety practices to greatly impact local business and schools.