OLYMPIA - Thurston County residents, who wish to obtain a Food Worker's Card, can now do so from the comfort of their home, and in seven languages. This will allow greater access to the food safety training that helps Thurston County food workers to provide safe food to us all. The card is needed for those who work in the restaurant industry or who otherwise handle food to be offered to the public. Temporary food booths at the LakeFair celebration in Olympia are a good example of the latter instance. -30-
Previously, those seeking a food worker's card would have to attend one of three classes offered each week at the Thurston County Courthouse on Lakeridge Drive in Olympia. Sammy Berg of the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department says that was difficult for some attendees. "On average, we give out about 10,000 cards each year and 50 to 70 people attended each class. With two of the weekly classes offered during business hours, it made it tough to find parking spots for the class and then sometimes the class would be full. Being able to take the same course from your home computer will make it easier for food workers to get or renew their food safety training."
Berg says it will take the average person about an hour to take the food worker's course and test on line. "It is an interactive course and the test will offer the same information that is presented at the in-person classes. The questions for the on-line test are generated randomly so no two tests are alike. Once correctly completed, the person can then download and print their food worker's card and be ready to go to work.” The cost to take the course will remain the same- $10.
Those who do not have a computer at home can visit any Timberland Library branch and take the course there. The course will still be offered at the county courthouse although the number of classes will be cut down as people get used to being able to go on line. The on-line course was developed by the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, where in-person class attendance has been cut by about 70% since the on-line course was first offered earlier this year.