MEDDAC-J gives training in food handling
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (July 23, 2015) -- According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year roughly one in six Americans get sick; 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses.
"Learning proper food handling practices helps to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses," Sgt. Ravibol Nissay, assigned to U.S. Army Medical Activity- Japan, said.
Nissay, class instructor, taught seven community members July 15 on safe food handling practices, during a food handler's training course held at the Public Health Command, Bldg. 715, on the Camp Zama installation.
Food vendor Kenneth Henderson said the most important thing to be mindful of when handling and serving food is cross contamination.
"Cross contamination will get the whole party sick," said Henderson.
Cross contamination can occur when cooking utensils are not cleaned, food is not held at the right temperatures, and by not washing your hands.
Nissay said there is a common misconception about wearing gloves.
"You do not have to wear gloves while you prepare food," explained Nissay, "but you should always wear them when you serve food."
Nissay also stressed the importance of washing your hands.
Wearing gloves is not a substitution for washing your hands, said Nissay.
When serving food outdoors, Nissay continued, it requires greater attention to properly hold temperatures.
"Outdoors, you do not have the access to a refrigerating system so you have to properly portion out the food so it is served within four hours," said Nissay.
David Wykes, an aviation operations specialist, said a food handler must know the danger zone temperatures of potentially hazardous foods and the food handler's training course is an important refresher course.
The hour long class was followed by a 20 question test; then participants receive a permit that is valid for one year.