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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI Cooperative Extension to provide food safety training
to non-profits that serve food to public
Program promotes safety of food at fairs,
community dinners, fund-raisers

KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 15, 2002 -- One of the largest outbreaks of salmonella in the United States occurred after a church supper in Maryland where 741 people became ill. Similar outbreaks of food-borne illnesses have occurred at festivals, community dinners, fund-raising events, and other programs sponsored by non-profit agencies around the country.

To ensure that Rhode Island’s non-profit organizations know how to prepare food safely and understand how food-borne illnesses are transmitted, the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension is offering four food safety training sessions throughout the state this spring.

"Non-profit organizations have an obligation under the law to prepare and serve safe food to the public," said Martha Smith Patnoad, URI Cooperative Extension food safety educator who will lead the training sessions. "Most groups do a great job, but there is always room for improvement, especially since the consequences of an outbreak of food-borne illness could be devastating to the organization."

Training sessions will be held on April 18 at 7 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in North Scituate; May 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Clement’s Market in Portsmouth; May 2 at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Church in Hope Valley; and May 7 at 7 p.m. at the URI Providence Campus. Participants in each two-hour session will receive a set of lesson plans and a video to be used with volunteers. The cost of the workshop is $15 per person. The registration deadline is April 15.

According to Patnoad, the most common food safety concerns for non-profit groups that prepare food for the public are: personal hygiene, maintaining proper temperatures for hot and cold foods, the cross-contamination of foods, and issues surrounding efforts to prepare and serve food at off-site locations.

In addition to these topics, Patnoad’s training sessions will cover menu planning, sanitation, state regulations and record keeping.

For more information or to register for the workshops, call the URI Gardening and Food Safety Hotline at 1-800-448-1011.

For Information: Martha Patnoad 874-2960, Todd McLeish 874-7892

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