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Iowa Grocers Association Takes on In-Store Food Safety Training

DES MOINES -- The Iowa Grocers Industry Association (IGIA), in collaboration with Iowa State University Extension, debuted a new food safety training program tailored for the grocery and retail food industries in the state.

The training program, SuperSafeMark, originally created by the Food Marketing Institute, is designed for food managers and lead employees in bakeries, meat and seafood, deli, produce and catering. It educates participants on both food hazards and appropriate food handling practices.

The first training session took place at the Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des Moines. Subsequent courses are being offered throughout the state.

"Consumers have rightly come to expect that their grocery stores and other retailers are selling food products that adhere to very stringent standards for food handling and safety," said Jerry Fleagle, IGIA president. "The SuperSafeMark course is a natural extension to, and formalization of, many of the processes that are currently taking place in stores across the state," to raise the bar of food safety and quality.

While not a licensing requirement in and of itself, completion of the SuperSafeMark course is one way for stores to meet the "demonstration of knowledge" regulations in the Iowa Food Code. Upon completion of the course, participants are given the opportunity to take the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals Exam, which is recognized by the Conference for Food Protection (CFP) and has been verified to meet CFP standards by the American National Standards Institute.

Stores interested in registering employees for one of the upcoming SuperSafeMark courses can contact ISU Extension at (515) 261-4230 or IGIA at [email protected].
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