Retailers have a tremendous responsibility to train their managers and associates about food safety; as well as to educate customers about the foods they purchase in-store and bring home.
s with a number of food safety-related programs that can ease the crunch and allow retailers to concentrate on meeting training goals. Assistance can range from informational literature for employees and customers alike, to full-fledged workshops specifically designed for food handlers.
For example, Kimberly-Clark Corp., Roswell, Ga., last month launched a handwashing campaign out of its Away From Home division. An 11-item catalog includes posters, how-to signs, static clings, buttons and traditional stickers. Both the poster and how-to signage are laminated to protect against wetness and offer graphics on proper handwashing techniques. The static clings adhere directly to restroom mirrors and are available with three messages: "Please Remember to Wash Your Hands"; "If You Haven't Used Soap, You Haven't Washed Your Hands"; and "Thanks for Washing Your Hands."
The stickers and button contain identical wording. The kit is free of charge and available by calling (888) 346-GOKC.
On the other end of the spectrum, ASE Deli/Foodservice Co., Downers Grove, Ill., is one of many companies offering training assistance of varying degrees. The ConAgra division, manufacturer of processed deli meats, conducts workshops by certified food-safety personnel, and, just last year, created "Deli College," a 22-module deli-
management, customer-service, products and food-safety curriculum. As part of the college, a 37-foot, customized "deli on wheels" -- containing standard deli and food-service department equipment -- is used as a mobile classroom. It's capable of rolling right into individual store parking lots for training classes.
Most recently, the company's deli sales representatives were certified in safe-food handling after attending a two-day Cornell University course offered through the Food Marketing Institute, Washington. Company officials note that today's changing business climate, including increased competition, has resulted in the creation of these value-added types of services that go beyond mere after-sale product support, to help trade customers address challenges that affect the entire distribution channel.