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    N.J. C-store Workers Learn Food Safety

    Best practices program first of its kind; 2,400 people expected to participate.

    MAHWAH, NJ -- Under a $250,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor, the New Jersey Food Council presented the Food Handlers Best Practices in Food Safety workshop Monday at the Bergen County Police, Fire and EMS Academies in Mahwah, N.J., reported the North Jersey Media Group Inc.

    The program, billed as the first of its kind in the nation, was a combination of instruction on retail food safety requirements and food code regulations, and was attended by 20 food workers from North Jersey supermarkets and convenience stores, the report stated.

    "It makes a difference," said Lucy DeBoard, the workshop instructor and a registered health specialist. "People say it's common sense, but 76 million people get sick from food. They may know what they're supposed to do, but they are not doing it."

    The goal of the program is to make professional food handlers think about the hazards of carelessness, according to the North Jersey Media Group. DeBoard told attendees the "danger zone occurs between 41 degrees and 140 degrees when perishable food is exposed to oxygen and moisture."

    As many as 2,500 people are expected to go through the training, which began in June and will run until May of 2004, the report stated.

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