Island Health Department Offers Food Safety Classes for Pros

One Course in Spanish, the Other in English
Mar 26, 2013

When vacationers visit Long Beach Island, everybody wants to send them away with great memories – a sunny beach, a big fish, a ride on the Ferris wheel at Fantasy Island, a good round of miniature golf, a show at Surflight Theatre. The memory to be avoided is a bout of food poisoning. (And as anyone who has ever suffered a true case can tell you, it is an unforgettable experience.)

So the Long Beach Island Health Department has long offered courses and seminars in food safety to the Island’s restaurant owners and employees. That became especially important in 2010 when New Jersey required at least one person in every “Type 3” food establishment to be a certified food protection manager.

Here’s the catch – becoming certified requires an intensive, usually two-day class followed by an exam. It is technical and tough enough for anybody, to say nothing about workers who speak English as a second language. And many of the restaurant kitchens of LBI, and indeed all of Southern Ocean County and the state, are filled with just such workers.

So the health department decided to offer a food manager certification course this spring in Spanish. The department’s director, Timothy Hilferty, said it had offered shorter classes in Spanish in the past. But this will be the first time it is offering a full certification course in that language.

Following advice from other health departments in the state, the LBI Health Department contracted with Paster Training Inc. of Gilbertsville, Pa., to conduct the training. Paster is an industry leader, counting Burger King and Subway among its clients.

The class will be held on Wednesday, April 24, at 8 a.m. (registration is 7:30 to 7:45 a.m.) in the courtroom of the Long Beach Township Municipal Building, 6805 Long Beach Blvd. in Brant Beach. The test will follow from 4 p.m. until completion.

The fee is $169 if prepaid at least 21 days in advance, or $185 after that (plus $10 shipping and handling for the ServSafe 6th Edition Managers Book). Payment in full is due at least seven days before the class date.

People desiring to attend the course may register by calling Paster Training at 866-394-1776, extension 116. Participants must register with Paster, not with the LBI Health Department.

On Monday and Tuesday, April 29 and 30, the LBIHD will host a similar course in English, which will result in a nationally recognized food safety manager certification, valid for five years and transferrable throughout the country. The course will be held at the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library, 217 South Central Ave. in Surf City. The class is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the first day and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second. Cost is $95. It’sless expense because the department’s head food safety inspector, Dan Krupinski, is certified to teach it himself. Seating is limited; the registration deadline is April 24. Sign up at LBIHD, 609-492-1212.

— Rick Mellerup

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