December 4, 2002 | By: Laura Skillman

Potluck meals, church socials and other gatherings are no place to forget the basics of food safety.

Upcoming training sessions planned by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service Family and Consumer Science agents in the Green River area are an effort to remind people of safe food handling rules.

The trainings are for Homemakers club members in the eight county area, and the goal is for participants to take these training materials to other groups throughout their counties to teach them about proper food handling, said Jan Dougan, Henderson County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences.

"Basically, agents in the Green River area have observed some food safety blunders, so we felt there needed to be some training done to help people understand the importance of food safety and some of the procedures they need to follow," she said.

These blunders have been noticed at potluck events, family gatherings and events where people are cooking for other people.

"The kind of events that we all go to," she said. "We just thought that some people have either forgotten or our unaware of the importance of food safety and following the rules when they take food and prepare food for other people."

Also, as we learn more about germs and food safety, handling procedures change, Dougan said.

The initial workshops will be for Homemakers who will in turn volunteer to do the training for other groups, such as those at their church. The workshops will be conducted in Owensboro and Henderson on Jan. 6 and Jan. 7, respectively. All Green River area family and consumer science agents are participating in the workshop either through teaching or preparing materials for it, she said.

"It's going to be an active workshop, not one where participants will be sitting and listening but actually participating," Dougan said.

Some of the learning activities will include hand washing, proper labeling and dating, temperatures, and a skit.

"We are going to have some humor in it and not point the finger, but look at these things and see what maybe was done wrong," she said.



Jan Dougan, (270) 826-8387