Tara Paster Champions
Safe Practices for Food Industry


Tara Paster, a 1990 graduate of Mercer's Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management (HRIM) program, has always thrived on ensuring that people eat, drink and be merry -- yet safe. As president of Paster Training, Inc., based in Pottstown, Pa., she is on a mission to provide the hospitality industry with safety information that resonates, creating innovative training sessions that "get attention and keep it with real world war stories." According to Paster, "We make our training programs more than just textbook talk."

Establishing her company in 2001 with the support of her husband, Anthony Paster, chief operating officer, and his grandfather, Paster has trained many of today's top food retailers, manufacturers, processors and operators across the country and world. According to the company website, Paster Training is the leading training organization for food safety certification, helping "more companies stay compliant with governmental regulations than any other private training organization."

Tara Paster

"I have a passion for food safety and responsible alcohol management," said Paster, who graduated from Nottingham High School before coming to Mercer. Her areas of expertise run the gamut from food contamination and hygiene to a host of other food-related issues. "The goal of Paster Training is to educate food and beverage industry members in the most entertaining ways and to provide high-quality training, products and support," she added. "We are devoted to raising awareness of all food safety issues."

Paster credits MCCC with giving her the thorough knowledge base that she brings to her business. She recalls former MCCC Coordinator of Hospitality Programs Martin Goldman, who "inspired me with his operational experience. All my professors were compassionate and empathetic to the fact that I worked full time and attended classes at the same time. I had a great time at Mercer. It confirmed that I was entering the right industry," she said.

A member of the first class to use Mercer's new training kitchen on the West Windsor campus, Paster was student speaker at MCCC's 1990 Commencement ceremonies. "Speaking at Commencement was one of the high points of my life."

Prior to founding Paster Training, Paster held a variety of positions, including regional training consultant, general manager, district manager, director of marketing, and director of operations for such companies as the Marriott Corporation, H.T. Rose Enterprises, Inc., Roy Rogers, Hardee's Food System, and Lake Norman Brewing Company. She is also the author of two Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) books published by John Wiley & Sons - The HACCP Food Safety Training Manual and The HACCP Food Safety Employee Manual.

On behalf of the company, Paster leads a team of consultants and speaks internationally on food and alcohol safety. Working in tandem with Anheuser-Busch, one of her most memorable experiences was educating the beverage staff and servers at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, about responsible alcohol-serving practices.

"I love helping people and making a difference in their lives every day," Paster said. "My educational background and career path, along with determination, has led me to be where I am today."

To learn more about Paster Training, click here.

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