Monday, January 24, 2011

Handle with care

I spent most of today in a training session to be a certified food handler.

Some of you might be wondering what that even means. It's more than just how to properly wear a hairnet, mind you. In addition to the 8 hours or so it took to read through the manual and take a practice test this weekend -- and trying not to cringe at the grammatical errors and blatant disregard for parallel structure or subject-verb agreement in said manual -- I spent an entire day in class learning how to identify the droppings of different pests, how to correctly wash my hands, and why I will never eat ground beef again. There were a lot of times and temperatures to memorize, too, and to be honest I'm a little worried that the roasted vegetables I had with my scrambled eggs for breakfast before heading to class in Friendship Heights this morning might not have been reheated to the requisite 165 degrees before being scarfed by yours truly. (Was I risking exposing myself to a Clostridium-induced illness? I'd never even heard of the bacteria until going through the training manual last night before bed and hadn't thought much of it until today's review session. Wait, was a sinking feeling in my stomach one of the symptoms? What kind of time lapse should there be before symptoms would normally appear? I imagine this must be a bit like first year medical students' tendency to diagnose themselves with every obscure condition under the sun. But, ooh, that little nick on my pinky, that puts me at a higher risk for a staph infection. Eep.)

Luckily, I aced the exam at the end of the day. Well, almost. My Hermione tendencies emerged when I found myself disappointed with only earning a 95%. Yes, yes, I only needed a 75% to pass, but I swear a few of those questions were *not* covered in class. And the phrasing was unclear. But I did well enough.

So, folks, I'm a certified safe food handler. Now I'm well on the road to becoming your friendly neighborhood mobile farmers' market bus driver. Next up: getting my commercial driver's license. (Now *that* should be a funny transition: going from riding Ollie to driving a short bus, living in constant fear of drifting into the bike lane.) Wish me luck!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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