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Newport Avenue Market now requires all employees, no matter their position, to obtain a Food Handlers Card to ensure safe food handling at the Bend, Ore., specialty grocery store. All employees, not just those who directly handle food daily, must go through food safety training.
“As an employee-owned grocer – we feel this is some of the best and most useful knowledge we could require of our employees,” said Lauren Johnson, CEO of Newport Avenue Market. “There are times where we may have all hands on deck during peak hours. As an example, a stocker or receiving clerk may be called upon to help bag groceries – this is where food handlers training is essential in our eyes.”
While uncommon, the move highlights how important food safety is to both the store and its customers.
“We feel it is necessary to make sure all of our employees are fully aware of safe food handling practices regardless of their position,” said Johnson. “An example, our meat department employees and service deli people have safe food handling top of mind, but what if our box person does not? With this policy in place, the customer experience is consistent throughout their shopping experience. We hope this policy gives our customers added faith in the job we do for them.”