StateFoodSafety has launched a free online training course to instruct charitable feeding and disaster relief volunteers in vital food safety principles. After a year of development, the 22-minute course has been released just in time to help train volunteers on how to safely serve food in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food training is not required for volunteers. But food safety is incredibly important for charitable organizations because of the people they serve are often highly susceptible to foodborne illness. A study by the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) found that training can significantly improve volunteers’ behavior toward food safety.

In the average year, 1 in 9 — about 37 million — Americans struggle with hunger. This number increases in times of disaster or high unemployment.

The online food safety training covers topics like how to safely serve food to highly susceptible populations, proper food worker health and hygiene, and how to keep food safe during transportation. The course can be used to help train volunteers for charitable feeding programs as well as for disaster relief operations.

“This is a time of unusual circumstances where everyone needs to come together and do what they can to help the community,” said Bryan Chapman, CEO of StateFoodSafety. “So many organizations and people exemplify this behavior. We are just hoping to help as well, even in a small way.”

StateFoodSafety offers other free resources that are intended to help in times of need, such as — food safety posters, handwashing stickers and handwashing videos.

StateFoodSafety says that this new course does not replace a food handler certification card or a food protection manager certificate. It is intended to teach foodservice volunteers essential food safety principles.

Coronavirus and food safety
Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

It may be possible that people can become infected with COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouths, noses, or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

StateFoodSafety develops and publishes technology-enhanced food safety certification and training programs to regulatory, restaurant, and hospitality communities.

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