Friday, March 14, 2014

SCAM ALERT: Oregon company calls to solicit sales for "mandated" food handler training

Restaurants across the Gulf South are the target of an Oregon company’s solicitation regarding “mandated” Food Handler training.  While the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) offers ServSafe Food Handler, a two-hour course on the basics of food safety and sanitation techniques, and best practices for front and back of the house restaurant personnel, it is NOT REQUIRED in Louisiana.

While this “SCAM” is relative to the term “mandated,” food safety and sanitation training is certainly not the issue. 

The Louisiana Dept. of Health and Hospitals requires that at least one person per foodservice establishment complete the eight-hour food safety and sanitation course—ServSafe Manager. The comprehensive course blends the latest FDA Food Code, food safety research and years of food sanitation training experience. The LRA is the largest training provider in the state for ServSafe Manager and LRA Members receive a significant discount. Classes are offered in person and available online here.

ServSafe Food Handler is designed to add an additional layer of protection for your restaurant’s patrons. The two-hour course is available online for just $15 and provides your staff with the basic knowledge they need to serve your guests in a safety and sanitary manner. While this is voluntary in Louisiana, in states like California is mandatory for all restaurant staff.

Launched last summer, ServSafe Alcohol Online training is the first of its kind in Louisiana and replaces the need for servers of alcoholic beverages to attend a class in person. The ATC mandated, two-hour ServSafe Alcohol Online course is available 24/7 anywhere servers have access to a PC and the internet. LRA members receive a 10 percent discount on the regular $30 cost.

The most recent product released by the LRA is ServSafe Allergens—a 90-minute online course developed to assist restaurant staff in serving the 15 million Americans with food allergies safely. This voluntary course teaches restaurant staff about the various food allergies and implications for guests, how to properly communicate with guests and other restaurant staff, and proper procedures for front and back of the house staff, avoiding cross contact, inventory and preparation controls and what to do in case of an emergency. With the increased demand for gluten-free menu options and other alterations, this course can help you become more trusted among diners with food allergies. The cost for LRA members is $19.80. Allergens training is not required in Louisiana, however in states like Massachusetts it is required of all restaurant staff.

For more info about the suite of ServSafe products, please call the LRA at (504) 454-2277. 

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