NEW CUMBERLAND - The Hancock County Health Department requires new food service employees to obtain a food handler's card within one week of being hired.
Annually, millions are infected with food-borne illness and thousands die.
Food service employees must be educated about safe procedures such as personal hygiene, cross contamination, improper cooking and holding temperatures.
The health department offers food handler classes, which can be taken either online or in classes taught by a sanitarian.
Classes can be taken online at www.HancockCountyHealthDepartment.com, and a certificate can be printed out on completion of the course. Employers must keep certification copies on the premises.
When classes with a sanitarian are scheduled, the information is posted on the Hancock County Health Department website, and published in local newspapers.
Cooks, deli workers, bartenders, waiters and waitresses or dishwashers are all food employees. Someone who works only as a cashier or as a stocker in a retail store would not be considered a food employee.