Food Safety Programs

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Why is food safety important?

According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) an estimated 48 million Americans become ill and 3,000 die as a result of eating food contaminated by harmful microbes. Delaware Cooperative Extension provides educational programs to help growers, processors, supermarkets, food service operations and consumers handle food in a manner to reduce foodborne illness.

As a participant in this class, you identify specific techniques you practice in your everyday handling of food. After answering the 50 food handling questions, you will learn how food should be handled to reduce your risk of foodborne illness due to contamination with harmful microbes. After reviewing these safe handling practices, you will grade your inspection sheet to see if you pass the food safety inspection.

To set up a class which lasts about one hour, call your local county extension office.

  • New Castle County: (302) 831-2506
  • Kent County: (302) 730-4000
  • Sussex County: (302) 856-7303

The ServSafe® program is the premiere food safety certification offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). The program is designed for the food-service professional.

Register online for 2020

The DineSafe program offers basic food safety training for quantity food workers. The three-hour course is designed for front and back line employees. Participants learn food handling skills and tactics they need to follow to keep food safe regardless of their specific job.

To schedule a Dine Safe program for 10 or more of your employees, please contact Kathleen Splane at ksplane@udel.edu or 302-730-4000.

Entrepreneurs who want to produce food products for sale are required to attend training. Training for individuals would fall into two categories.

This eight-hour program provides basic food safety information for individuals who considering developing and selling a product to the public. A required class for individuals seeking a Delaware Department of Agriculture on-farm food permit.

  • On Farm Training for Entrepreneurs – Individuals who live on a farm can produce products for sale after attending an 8 hour training course. The training covers basic food safety principles, regulation of food, labeling requirements and liability issues and culminates in an exam. This class meets the Delaware Department of Agriculture requirements to obtain an on-farm permit.

  • Cottage Industry Training for Entrepreneurs – Non-farm individuals can sell certain products they produce in their own home. This six-hour training that culminates in an exam meets food safety training requirements by the State of Delaware for those who want to take advantage of the opportunity to prepare non-hazardous foods in their own home for sale. Examples of these foods are baked goods, jams, jellies and preserves, honey and candy. The training covers basic food safety principles, regulation of food, labeling requirements and liability issues.

To find a program near you contact Extension Educator Kathleen Splane at ksplane@udel.edu or 730-4000.

Food from the garden is fun to grow and delicious to eat. This page shares some ideas for using your fresh produce by providing recipes and strategies for washing, storing and even preserving food safely.

More canning and food preservation information can be found at the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension National Center for Home Food Preservation.

A two track training on food safety practices that reduce the risk of foodborne illness when growing fruits and vegetables.  The first session (three hours) is for those farmers who only grow produce while the second track expands the principles learned in track one to include further processing such as washing and packing of the product for sale.

The class, taught by a team of Extension Agriculture and Family and Consumer Science Educators, offers farmers a Delaware Department of Agriculture certificate for completion of food safety training.

Click for information on farm food safety audits

This is a hands-on program for 8-to 12-year-olds. The five series of lessons cover the growth of bacteria; ways to reduce harmful microbes; the importance of good handwashing, controlling the temperature of the food, and preventing cross contamination; and how viruses invade the body.

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Contact information
302-730-4000

Kathleen Splane, Extension Agent and Program Leader

Food Safety Publications