With most holiday events and gatherings, food plays an important part of it, but things can go south quickly, especially when it comes to foodborne illnesses.

As a way to educate families and make sure loved ones enjoy their meals, the Webster County Health Unit is hosting a class this Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at its building in Marshfield. Mark Price, president of Price Hospitality, Inc., will walk families through the class.

"My desire and goal is to make people aware of the potential for causing a foodborne illness and reduce the occurrences," said Price. "There are over 48 million reported cases of foodborne illness each year, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations, and over 3000 deaths. And the majority of these happen from causes in the home and, yes, churches!"

Added Price, “There are many causes and simple common sense ways to reduce or eliminate the causes, but people don’t know or think about the importance of handwashing, cooking and holding temperatures, cross-contamination of foods and working surfaces, hand sanitizers, and more.”

Price will give a quick 10-question quiz on how families handle this issue in their home. Following that, he will review the quiz, while addressing proper cooking temperatures, proper refrigeration and why some foods need to be handled differently.

"As a veteran of the industry for 50 years, a multi-unit restaurant owner and a certified instructor, I have some war stories to help people understand cause and effect and people remember stories better than a list of facts or my credentials," said Price.

There is no cost for the talk, and no certification will be given or implied. The class does not require an RSVP, and there is no cost for admission, but space is limited.

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