Culinary Center conducts safe food handling class

Franklin Booker, JCCoE’s chief reserve component food service advisor, emphasizes a point during a presentation at the safe food handling and protection course Aug. 12. A total of 16 National Guard and Reserve Component personnel took the one-week course held at Holiday Inn Express, Chester.

CHESTER, Va. – Sixteen National Guard and Reserve personnel were certified as safe food handling and protection trainers during a special one-week class conducted by the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence Aug. 12-16.

The Adjunct Instructor Certification Course held at the Holiday Inn Express, Chester, was led by Franklin Booker, JCCoE’s chief reserve component food service advisor; Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tollie Yoder, National Guard food service advisor; and CW4 Dawn Broe, National Guard Bureau, Washington, D.C. Participants came from units across the U.S. and Guam.

“Each of those who took the class are now certified to do train-the-trainer workshops at their local units,” said Booker, who is a sergeant major in the Reserves. “For some, this was their initial safe food handling and protection class. For others it was a refresher class on the foundations of food safety.”

It was the first offering of this program this year for National Guard and Reservists, Booker pointed out. Another course is planned for December. He and his team also make visits to National Guard and Reserve units during the year to review food handling and protection guidelines.

The course featured presentations by the three leaders on such subjects as Fundamentals of Food Safety, Managing Food Safety, Sanitary Controls, Field Food Safety and Protection, and others topics of importance.  In addition, there were quizzes, homework assignments, group presentations by the attendees and two days of 7-10-minute individual presentations of their choice.

The goal of the exercises was to mirror the class instruction procedures the students would apply at their home units. The leaders evaluated the presentations in a number of areas, focusing on eye communication, facial expression, posture, overall appearance, vocal variety, humor and more.  These were followed by short private mentor critiques by Broe or Booker with each participant. The final day featured an exam covering the full week of instruction.

One course participant, Capt. Danielle Bibbs-Ruffner with the 301st Field Hospital, St. Petersburg, Fla., leads a medical unit and is new to military food service. “This course will provide a better opportunity for me to support my Soldiers in the medical unit,” she said. “They are 68 Mikes (nutrition specialists) but are licensed to cook. They don’t have a lot of time for training in food service, so I can now walk away from this course to do more training with them.”

Maj. Juan King with the Guam National Guard previously served as a food service manager and is returning to those duties after a one-year hiatus. “Being here really opened my eyes,” noted the 19-year officer. “I’ve learned so much more this week about food operations. It makes me want to bring it all back to my bosses. This is really important training. I will suggest others attend this course. It’s that important. Every 92 Golf (culinary specialist) should go through this training.”

JCCoE is a Quartermaster School element – one of the three primary sustainment instructional organizations under CASCOM based at Fort Lee.