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Back to the Basics with Coronavirus

Coronavirus.  Had we conducted a survey at the start of the 2019, we are willing to bet that less than 10% of Americans would have recognized the word and less than 1% would have identified it as a respiratory illness.  Many would have found the entire concept of “social distancing” comical.  Yet, here we are in a world drastically different than it was at the start of March. As we write this in late April, many of your businesses have been negatively impacted in one way or another with declining sales and the need to lay off staff. Doors have closed and the old way of doing business ended. While many of you have embarked on new ways of serving your customers, the foundation of…

Food Safety: Vision 2020

When we hear the words 2020, we usually think of having perfect vision.  Periodically, we go to the eye doctor to have our eyes checked to make sure our vision is good.  And, many of us have prescription lenses to recalibrate our eyes so that our vision is as near 2020 as possible. What is your vision for your food safety plan?  Is it in perfect focus?  Things change, so have you done any recalibrations to make sure that your plan still meets the changing needs of your operation?  Just like going to the eye doctor for a check-up, we need to evaluate how we are doing in the area of food safety, and make adjustments to make sure our vision is clear and that…

Ready-to-Eat Foods: Are they Risky?

Those of us familiar with the retail food industry are well aware of potential risks associated with ready-to-eat foods. We recognize that any food can present risks if it is not handled correctly. Yet, our circles of family and friends outside the world of foodservice may not have this awareness. Sure, most folks know that meat, poultry, and dairy foods should be kept in the refrigerator. Yes, they know the importance of cooking meats (but you may get differences of opinion on what “done” means; quiz wait staff what temperature ‘medium well’ is and you might get some surprising answers!). What seems to go over the head of many consumers (and even some TV chefs) is the importance of handling ready-to-eat foods – or RTE…

Communicating Food Safety Messages

In our first blog for October, we reviewed the fundamentals of effective communication. We suggested considering the framework of Who, What, When, Where, and How for crafting messages and determining the best method for delivery. In this blog, we provide some suggestions on how to effectively message about correct handwashing and glove use, as these are fundamental safe food handling practices. Correct handwashing by employees is often hit or miss. Research shows that staff know when and how to wash hands correctly, but don’t always act on that knowledge due to time availability, lack of supplies, or not being aware of the critical nature of handwashing. The message of why, when and how to wash hands in a foodservice setting needs to be conveyed. Managers…

Implementing Active Managerial Control

In our last blog, we defined and discussed the concept of active managerial control.  Now we will present some ideas on just what is needed to begin an approach of active managerial control. Here are some things that you can do in your operation:   Understand food safety and the science behind it.  One very basic thing you can do is become a Certified Food Protection Manager. There are several programs that meet the American National Standards Institute-Conference on Food Protection requirements.  One of the most common is ServSafe® from the National Restaurant Association, but there are also four other approved programs. As someone with this certification, you are better prepared to provide food safety training to your employees and better able to explain why...