N.Y. Ag Dept. OKs NOCO Food Safety Program

Expanded offering requires expanded safety

TONAWANDA, N.Y. -- NOCO Express has been named one of the first convenience store chains in the state of New York to have its Food Safety Education Certification Program approved by the Department of Agriculture & Markets, the chain announced.

In accordance with recent legislation, Article 20-C of the New York Agriculture & Markets Law was amended to establish a food safety certification requirement for retail food stores that prepare food on the premises.

Andi Baker, NOCO Express retail training manager, designed the [image-nocss] Food Safety Training syllabus and certification test, which was approved by the state agriculture department, to meet this new requirement. Such topics as state food safety statutes and regulations, foodborne illness, temperature control, pest control, food microbiology, personal hygiene, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), cleaning and sanitation and food security were covered during the eight-hour course.

In addition to meeting state requirements, the intention of the program was to educate NOCO associates on the importance of food safety as it applies to our NOCO Express Stores, said Baker. Through the curriculum, associates were able to build a foundation on food safety to ensure that any food NOCO carries is handled and prepared according to state and federal codes.

Each of NOCO's store managers participated and passed the certification program. In addition, NOCO's Food Safety Training course will be posted on the state agriculture department's website for other retail outlets to consider implementing with their associates.

It's a great honor that NOCO's food safety certification program is held in such high regard by the Department of Agriculture as a blueprint for other food outlets, said Henry Bays, general manager of NOCO Express Stores. With the introduction of NOCO's store-within-a-store' concept and more meal on-the-go options for our customers, we want to ensure everything that is prepared onsite is done so using all of the proper food safety procedures and regulations.

Headquartered in Tonawanda, N.Y., NOCO Energy Corp. is a provider of industrial and residential fuels, industrial and commercial lubricants and engine motor oils, heating and cooling services and oil recovery services. NOCO also owns and operates approximately 40 gasoline convenience stores (NOCO Express Stores) throughout western New York and Rochester, N.Y.