Providing food safety training to reduce foodborne illness

Michigan State University Extension food safety education programs train participants to prevent incidents of foodborne illness associated with unsafe food handling practices.

October 1, 2017

Sandwiches are prepared following food safety guidelines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million foodborne illness cases occur in the United States every year. At least 128,000 Americans are hospitalized and 3,000 die after eating contaminated food.

Michigan State University Extension food safety education programs train participants to prevent incidents of foodborne illness associated with unsafe food handling practices. ServSafe and Cooking for Crowds are two programs that focus on equipping people who cook and prepare food for the public with the knowledge they need to do their jobs well and handle food safely. ServSafe is a national certification program offered by MSU Extension for people who work in food service. Cooking for Crowds is designed for nonprofit organizations.

Cooking for Crowds evaluation results estimate that within 3 months after the class, a typical participant reaches an average of 428 individuals with served food.

  • 80% of ServSafe participants passed the certificate exam with an average score of 81%.
  • 89% of Cooking for Crowds participants know the correct methods of cleaning and sanitizing food preparation surfaces.
  • 77% of Cooking for Crowds participants understand the cause of foodborne pathogens.
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