Food Safety Focus Team • October 04
If you’ve followed along throughout September’s celebration of National Food Safety Month 2018, you may have discovered the common thread running throughout all four weeks of our exploration of “the future of food safety.”  That common thread is YOU—you and every member of your team.

The FDA makes the updates to the Food Code, but you are the one who needs to be aware of the changes and how to implement them in your workplace.  Through ongoing training, monitoring, and review of new and existing regulations, you can help ensure that everyone at your operation understands and follows regulations that help prevent foodborne illness.

Food safety begins with knowing where your food comes from and having confidence that what you receive at your operation meets quality and safety standards.  You can implement supplier approval programs designed to monitor the quality of the ingredients you purchase.  You and your team should also use receiving practices that will keep unsafe food from entering your kitchen.  Again, those procedures need to be taught, monitored, and reinforced on a regular basis. Talk about it with your team so they know how important this is.
Consumer trends bring change to the restaurant industry.  Mobile ordering, tableside tablets, and third-party delivery services can all affect how you do business.  But whatever happens, you remain responsible for keeping guests safe, even that means implementing new food safety processes and procedures.  It’s up to you to take a fresh look at what needs to be cleaned, how you work with independent delivery services, and what should be done to prevent foodborne illness.

Finally, you (and every individual who works with you) must make personal hygiene a top priority. Lead by example, train often, make sure that systems at your establishment make it easy for employees to practice good hygiene, and reinforce positive behaviors.  In addition, you are responsible for creating and maintaining a robust food safety program that includes ongoing training about time-temperature control and best practices to avoid cross contamination. Remember, learning about food safety is not a one-time event.  Talk about it frequently and make it top priority for everyone.

National Food Safety Month may be over, but your commitment to the future of food safety should continue year-round.  Visit Food Safety Focus throughout the year for new tips, ideas, and articles, and go to ServSafe.com to find training options that meet your operation’s needs.