Monday, November 10, 2008

Serving Safe

I finished my second class today. I'm taking one class per quarter. No one has ever told me how many credits I need or what to take so I'm just plodding along at my own pace. Sadly I really can't say much good about NGTC, it's a junk school, but I like the culinary program and instructors.

This quarter I was taking Serve Safe. This is actually a state level certification in safe food handling. Every restaurant in the state of Georgia is required to have at least one employee certified in Serve Safe. Get this, if I take the two day course as an individual, like if I were a restaurant employee, the course cost is about $90. But through school it costs my about $330. Hardly worth the three credits. I missed the first four classes. The first two I didn't know classes had started and the second two we were in Boston. I aced every quiz we had in class. Not hard really. Mainly common sense and memorizing some key temperatures.

The certification test, my final, was harder than I anticipated. There were several questions where I guessed from between what I felt were two legitimate answers. For example, what factor influences cooling rate of food. Choices A and B were stupid but C was the internal cooked temperature of the food and D was the container the food is stored in. Well dammit I'm an engineer and I KNOW both answers are right. I took thermodynamics three times after all. The greater the temperature gradient, delta, the greater time it takes to remove heat and the rate of heat transfer is dependent on the insulating properties of the surrounding material. Stainless steel will be faster than plastic which will be faster than glass. Errrr. I also did not take the time to memorize which fish are susceptible to Scromboid. I narrowed it down to snapper or grouper. The answer was mahi mahi. Who cares? The key is you eat something bad you will get sick. The specifics really aren't that important.

And don't get me started on how culinary people calibrate thermometers!

Oh well. I need a 75% to pass. While I concede that I didn't nail it, I don't think I missed more than 10 out of 90 questions so I should be ok.

Early registration is next week so we'll have to see what I can afford. We're so damn broke this maybe over before it really began.

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