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ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – As of September 1st, Gov. Greg Abbott required all restaurants in Texas are required to have a ServSafe certified employee on staff every hour. The new law has Odessa College cooking up ways to help food industry workers get the certifications they need. This is the first year that Odessa College is offering a ServSafe program and it’s open to anybody, not just current students.

OC instructor Stormy Williams, teaches the new food handler program and told us that this could benefit many restaurants in the area.

“ServSafe certification it’ll protect both the managers and the businesses from lawsuits from making people sick from foodborne illness and it gets them ready to understand what causes them,” says Williams

For local restaurant owners like Alejandro Barrientos at Curbside Bistro, training in food safety is crucial for all of his employees.

“We do our food handlers permit which is a regular course through food safety like how to handle chicken, raw beef, pork, and how to handle ready to eat food,” says Alejandro Barrientos.

Barrientos says that to make sure that food is safe and avoid any contamination, all the meals made at Curbside Bistro are cooked to order.

“I cannot handle if someone says ‘your food made me sick’ or ‘i got sick from this item’, that’s something totally unexcusable so we’re always washing our hands changing gloves wearing hair nets wearing beard nets,” says Barrientos.

The manager of a local tavern-style restaurant in Odessa, Cork, and Pig, Rick Stewart says that from food vendors to how food is prepared all team members must have the necessary certifications.

“Anyone that’s got that certification and knows the proper temperatures that items need to be kept at proper storage techniques is very beneficial to have,” says Stewart.

The owner of the Legendary Barn Door Steakhouse in Odessa, Roy Gillean, says that he’s aware of the rules put into place to ensure food safety. Gilles says that a part of the Barn Door’s day-to-day operations focuses solely on making sure each meal is prepared to FDA standards.

“We get our food in twice a week typically here at the Barn Door and then of course it has to be stored correctly and it has to be monitored. We have to check the temperature to make sure that it’s not in the danger zone, to make sure everything’s going to be great for the customer,” says Gillean.

From learning the proper temperatures of meat to cleanliness in and outside of the kitchen. Local restaurants that we spoke to say that Governor Abbott’s new law has helped its employees maintain a safe and clean environment for people to enjoy their meals.

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