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PEMBROKE, N.H. -- Associated Grocers of New England has held a ServSafe food safety program and certification exam for retailer members at the company's distribution center here.
About 30 AG New England retailers and corporate store employees took part in the October educational session. Bunzl Corp., an international distribution company serving the grocery and foodservice industries, assisted with the program. Attendees departed with information and materials to bring back to their stores.
"With more and more ready-to-eat foods being sold by supermarkets and convenience stores," noted AG New England president and c.e.o. Mike Bourgoine, "the importance of food safety has come to the forefront of retail store operations."
"Total food safety begins with ServSafe training and certification," added Joan Tessier, administrative assistant of AG Supermarkets, Inc., the distributor's retail subsidiary, which operates five supermarkets in New Hampshire.
"In every operation and situation, food safety has to work; that's why the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation developed ServSafe. And as of July 2, 2008, a bill passed by the New Hampshire legislature requires that all foodservice establishments have a 'certified food protection manager' trained and certified in food protection management."
AG New England is the largest retailer-owned, wholesale grocery distribution center in the region. It serves independent retail food stores in Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the upstate New York/Albany area.