15 - February - 2011

On December 7‐10, 2010, the Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD) Foundation offered ServSafe training program to key food safety stakeholders. This training is important, since CARD food safety specialists, Zaruhi Davtyan and Mkhitar Hakobyan conducted the ServSafe training as Certified ServSafe Instructors and Registered ServSafe Proctorsthis for the first time in Armenia.

ServSafe is the industry’s leading food safety training and certification program, created by the U.S. National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The program is designed for the foodservice industry to assist in setting high food safety standards. ServSafe is recognized by US federal, state, and local jurisdictions. There were 20 participants, among them restaurant managers (12), university students (6), as well as CARD staff (2). In addition to the theory, the training manual included practical assignments for the four teams.

Demonstration supplies, such as digital thermometers, gloves, hairnets, and food safety posters, were placed on display throughout the training and information was provided how to obtain these items. At the end of the training, these items were distributed to the participants as prizes for teamwork assignments.

Finally, the management of the “ArtLunch” catering agreed to organize a tour for the participants to their kitchen located in Beeline Company facility. This tour helped everybody visualize the training material. Thus, not only the host facility makes sure everything meets the standards, but also the participants learn about the bad and good practices. At the end of the training, all trainees passed the test and received certificates of successful completion from the National Restaurant Association Solutions. The average class score was about 91 out of 100.

Thus, the training demonstrates successful capacity building effort sponsored by USDA/FAS and provided by well qualified and well recognized team of experts and specialists from CARD. Being one of the sequential activities implemented in the framework of the Technical Assistance to Support the Armenian Food Safety System Program, it demonstrates how CARD is gradually evolving into an independent and sustainable organization.