Newport Avenue Market, a single store, employee-owned grocer located in Bend, Oregon, has recently made the switch to requiring that all employees, regardless of position and number of hours worked, obtain a Food Handlers Card. The new requirement has been put in place to ensure safe food handling at the specialty grocery store.
“As an employee-owned grocer – we feel this is some of the best and most useful knowledge we could require of our employees,” said Lauren G. R. Johnson, CEO of Newport Avenue Market. “There are times where we may have all hands on deck during peak hours. As an example, a stocker or receiving clerk may be called upon to help bag groceries – this is where food handlers training is essential in our eyes.”
Typically, the only employees required to have a Food Handlers Card at a grocery store include those who directly handle food. With this new condition of employment at Newport Avenue Market, all employees must go through the training, from people working in the office, to checkers, to receiving clerks.
It’s uncommon for a grocery store to have this particular requirement, but a much needed one according to Newport Avenue Market, given the highlighted food safety concerns and how food safety is communicated to the public in the news.
“We feel it is necessary to make sure all of our employees are fully aware of safe food handling practices regardless of their position,” said Johnson. “An example, our meat department employees and service deli people have safe food handling top of mind, but what if our box person does not? With this policy in place, the customer experience is consistent throughout their shopping experience.”
Safe food handling knowledge is something each employee can take with them throughout their life and crosses over into their personal life.
Johnson continues, “We hope this policy gives our customers added faith in the job we do for them.”
Locally family-owned since 1976, Newport Avenue Market serves as the food hub of Central Oregon, offering shoppers both mainstream and specialty grocery options, all in a vibrant environment. A 17-time winner of “Best Grocery Store” in Central Oregon, as voted in The Source Weekly’s annual community poll, the market prides itself in supporting neighborhoods and producers. Their expansive selection of high-quality, in-demand food and beverage items, otherwise known as the “Triple G” – Groceries, Gadgets and Gifts! – keeps shoppers always on their toes. The store employs over 100 “internal foodies,” and as of October 2015 the establishment is 100% employee owned. With an atmosphere where people in the community come together for all things food, and not to mention a selection of over 500 brews to choose from, Newport Avenue Market has become the food hub of Central Oregon.
For more information about Newport Avenue Market, please call 541-382-3940 or visit www.newportavemarket.com.