GLOUCESTER, Mass. -- Retailers planning to open a new seafood department can now get some advice beforehand from the federal government.
ore managers can receive specialized training and consultation with retail seafood experts before they begin.
"Because the grand opening of a seafood counter is a unique time, we feel stores will benefit from special attention and support to boost the knowledge and confidence of seafood personnel," said Mike Bavota, retail training specialist for the National Training Branch. "This is a confidential, highly specialized service tailored to the needs of each individual market."
The pre-opening instructions can include the following topics: basic seafood education, food handling and safety techniques, species identification and product awareness, customer service, purchasing and receiving, and merchandising techniques.
In addition to offering training services prior to the opening, NTB staff can also provide a trainer on-site to work with department personnel on opening day.
"We want to help get the department up and running so it can operate smoothly on its own," said Bavota.
Follow-up services are also available for troubleshooting or refresher training.
For more information, contact Karla Ruzicka at the National Training Branch, (508) 281-9216.
Other training programs for retailers offered by NTB include: a two-day Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point program and a basic seafood training course offered in conjunction with the Food Marketing Institute, Washington.
NTB also offers a six-day training course for food-service professionals in conjunction with the Culinary Institute of America as well as specially tailored on-site trainings for any business involved with seafood.