CONYERS - Rockdale Career Academy students are taking the necessary steps to get a head start on their careers.
Earlier this semester, eight Culinary Arts students took the ServSafe National Sanitation Test, which is administered by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation.
"Students will receive a nationally industry recognized certificate recognizing successful demonstration of knowledge of sanitation and safety rules and procedures in serving food safely," according to a press release from Rockdale County Public Schools. "The certificate is good for five years and is highly desirable in the food service industry, giving the students an advantage in being hired and promoted in food service positions."
About 125 students are in introduction culinary arts classes, and 65 are taking the advanced classes.
"As part of our curriculum, we teach safety and sanitation to all students. Students must pass the first semester class to be eligible (to take the ServSafe test)," said Wes Goodman, one of the senior culinary arts instructors.
On the test, students are tested on food contaminants, work habits, proper cleaning, storing, serving and pesticides, among other topics.
Goodman said, "The course is based on food and safety rules and regulations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and industry standards and acceptable uses and practices."
Students who took the test first attended three four-hour sessions after school.
While taking the ServSafe test was not a required part of the culinary arts classes this year, next year all first-year students in the class must take and pass the test to continue the class, Goodman said.
"New health department and food service inspection rules and regulations now require all restaurants to have their managers on duty to have a current ServSafe certification," he said. "Eventually, all food service workers will have to be certified. Also, the students can receive culinary arts college course credit by successfully passing the test and receiving the certification."
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: Rockdale Career Academy Culinary Arts Students Receiving ServSafe Certification
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