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ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Food Industry Alliance of New York State, the New York Association of Convenience Stores, and the Food Marketing Institute have joined to create the only New York State approved online food safety certification program, called SuperSafeMark, according to an online report by Convenience Store News.
Following the approval of a new law requiring every food retail store in the state to have one employee certified in an eight-hour minimum food safety education program, the associations partnered to make an accessible, easy-to-understand food safety curriculum that will comply with the new legislation, said FIA president Jim Rogers.
"This online course is an efficient, effective, and affordable way for retailers to fulfill their obligation to ensure proper handling and preparation of the food they serve," said NYACS president James Calvin.
One of the benefits of the online course is that it "can be taken anytime, anywhere," said FMI's group vice president of food safety programs, Jill Hollingsworth.
"The SuperSafeMark online training has been modified to meet the unique requirements in New York," she continued. One requirement is recertification every two years, allowing for an additional eight hours of continuing education. If there is no certified individual, the retailer's food processing license -- the 20-C license -- will be revoked.
The program also allows employees to take the course at their leisure, with one 12-hour course, or several individual topics that add up to the minimum eight hours required. Employees can also take the course all at once, or come back two or more times, as the online program tracks the progress of individuals.
The program also includes tracking service, allowing retailers to check on an individual's current status, such as store location, ending period for the two year certification, hours and courses completed, and reminders for the stores 20-C license renewal. This system also sends out a reminder to certified individuals three months in advance of their recertification deadline.
Course curricula include retail food safety; key elements of food safety and defense; prevention of foodborne illness; following food flow; facilities, equipment and utensils; cleaning and sanitizing operations; environmental sanitation and maintenance; accident prevention and crisis management; education and training; food safety management and food safety regulations.
The certification program can be accessed at www.fiany.com. The cost is $100 per individual, with a 25 percent discount for companies registering 25 or more people.