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FOOD AND BEVERAGE PROFESSIONALS PREPARE FOOD SAFETY CERTIFICATION
Wednesday 26th September 2012

As tourism-related businesses in Antigua and Barbuda get ready for the upcoming tourist season, food and beverage professionals will be converging on the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training institute (ABHTI) from next Monday to achieve  certification in food safety.

Through a course, organized by the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association (AHTA) in partnership with the ABHTI and Chef Jeff Rotz (left) of Chefs Helping Chefs, participants will work towards the Servsafe Food Protection Manager Certification over a period of 5 half day sessions from Monday to Friday.

This certification is valid for 5 years and covers areas such as personal hygiene, cross contamination, the safe storing, thawing and reheating of foods and all aspects of the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) food safety regulations.

Chef Jeff of Florida, whose organization Chefs Helping Chefs has been working closely with Executive Chefs from several of the major resorts, is no stranger to Antigua. Commenting on the importance of this training Jeff states that, "Today's travelers are more educated and aware about what does and should happen behind the kitchen wall".

He says, "It is vital that our hospitality staff is educated in the latest safe food handling procedures. This is not only for the safety of our guests, but this is the image we want to project to those "aware and educated" travelers. A simple framed certificate of completion for a Certified Food Protection Manager or a Certified Safe Food Handler on the wall is sure to be noticed, and appreciated by your visitors and guests."

So far, nearly 70 food and beverage practitioners from hotels and restaurants have signed up for this important course and space is still available.

The cost of the 5 day course is EC$400.00.

Neil Forrester, General Manager of the AHTA stresses the importance of food safety in the workplace. "In today's environment we have to ensure our food safety practices meet all international requirements and mitigate the risk of food borne illnesses in every way possible. Any outbreak of such sickness could severely damage our tourism industry. Tour Operators in our major source markets look at this side of the business very closely and at the AHTA we try to ensure that every hotel has the opportunity to comply with these stringent regulations. We strongly encourage persons to come forward and participate in this course".

Three similar courses are currently being planned for the next two weeks.

For further details on next week's course, interested person can contact Anthea Watkins at the AHTA Office on Newgate Street or call 4620374.


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