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Pennsylvania to Improve Food Safety in State Schools

On May 1, Penn State Extension began offering Pennsylvania's school foodservice directors and managers a one-day training program on developing food safety programs that use HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) principles. The training is part of a national response to the growing concern for food safety in schools.

"In 2005, the School Lunch Act was amended to require all schools to implement HACCP-based food-safety programs," said Catherine Cutter, associate professor of food science in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. "For Pennsylvania, that means that any school using federal Child Nutrition Program funding to offer a school lunch or breakfast is mandated by law to have a HACCP program in place by the start of the coming school year."

According to Cutter, both groups share the goal of ensuring that school breakfast and lunch products are served safely.

"Training will provide school employees with an in-depth understanding of the potential hazards in each step of the food-preparation process, from receiving raw ingredients to preparation, cooling and serving," she said

The specially developed training is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Food Service Management Institute, and the trainers are all ServSafe-certified instructors.

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