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Recipe for a Positive Food Safety Culture

For the past few years, we have referred to the importance of developing a positive food safety culture within foodservice operations. The workplace culture is basically a reflection of “this is what and how we do things here”.  Manufacturing and construction companies often proudly post the number of days “accident free” as a reflection of their workplace safety culture.  In foodservice though, everyday has to be foodborne illness free – otherwise the operation may not be in business for long! So what are the elements of a positive food safety culture? In past work at Iowa State University, a doctoral student led focus groups within various types of foodservices to identify elements of a food safety culture in order to better define the pieces of…

Keep Ready-to-Eat Foods Safe

In our first blog for February, we identified some of the risks with ready-to-eat foods. RTE does not mean risk free! We pointed out that food processors have implemented food safety plans that use good manufacturing and good handling practices (GMPs and GHPs). Foodservices often purchase RTE foods to avoid some risk in-house. In fact, many schools do not purchase raw protein foods because of risks from under cooking and cross-contamination. But there are still risks from temperature abuse due to improper holding and from contamination that occurs intentionally, or unintentionally, from employee practices or unclean equipment. So, what prevention steps can be taken? Avoiding temperature abuse means having calibrated temperature measuring devices readily available and staff knowing how to use these. It means knowing…