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What is the Greatest Threat to Food Safety?

What is the Greatest Threat to Food Safety? Last week, I sat in on a webinar about the future of the foodservice industry, post-COVID.  Of course, most of it is speculation, but it was interesting to hear the different perspectives on where the industry is heading and how the impact of COVID will be felt for years to come.  One common theme discussed was whether working from home would become more prevalent. This, in turn, can have a profound impact on the traffic patterns in most operations, including quick service and fast casual restaurants. Of course, as operators, you would welcome them back at any time of the day – as long as they come back!  As more and more individuals receive the COVID vaccine,...

Welcoming Guests Back into Your Establishments

After three long months suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic, we are finally starting to see restaurants and other foodservices across the United States begin to reopen operations.  It is likely that more and more restrictions will be lifted across the country in the next few months with operations trying to recover from losses of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Last month in our blogs, we discussed getting back to the basics in terms of employee health and hygiene, temperature controls, and cleaning and sanitizing fundamentals. This month, we expand on that discussion and merge with guidance offered by health authorities for reopening, and elaborate on a few resources available for foodservices, compliments of FoodHandler.  Several entities have started to release guidance, including the Food and Drug Administration,…

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…

Stop it in its Tracks: Mitigation Measures for Hepatitis A

As we discussed in our first January blog, hepatitis A is a viral infection that can cause a serious liver disease.  Because it is so serious and the incidence is increasing, it is important to take steps to mitigate its impact on our employees, our customers, and ourselves.  There are three main mitigation practices that should be employed:  vaccination; exclusion; and good employee hygiene practices. Vaccinations As mentioned in the previous blog, there is a vaccination that will protect people from hepatitis A and it is a good idea for each of us to get that vaccination to protect our health.  It is interesting that it is the only foodborne illness for which there is a vaccination.  It is an inexpensive measure when compared to…

SafeFood is Served Here: Check √

A Checklist Approach to Food Safety In our first blog this month, we discussed risk-based inspections and their importance in any foodservice operation—and we promised to provide you with a risk-based checklist to assist you with daily risk mitigation strategies. Because we appreciate structure and routines (hey, we are RDs or registered dietitians, aka real detailed!) we thought this checklist approach might be useful for managers and their staff in monitoring the safety of food served in their operations. The key with any checklist is to keep it specific, yet simple. This blog will focus on a checklist for back of the house functions (in September we will provide a sample checklist to address front of house food safety action steps). The checklists cover the…

Risk-Based Inspections–Risk Nothing®

Every day we make decisions that have a risk component—what happens if we do something and what happens if we don’t?  While some of you may be risk takers in some parts of life, risks related to food safety should not be taken because the consequences are too great—the possibility of a foodborne illness causing customers to get sick, and maybe even die, not to mention the negative publicity for the operation. For those of you who read our blogs routinely, you know that we always end with the FoodHandler tagline—Risk Nothing.  In recent years, you probably have noticed a shift in the approach that environmental health specialists are taking with your routine health inspections.  Today, most are conducting what are called risk-based inspections.  In…

Taking Care of Business through Employee Productivity

In the firstblog for May on the topic of Workplace Productivity, we covered some indicatorsthat could be used to track performance effectiveness. This blog discussesstrategies to maximize performances of the workforce - because we all know thata foodservice is dependent on staff to meet an organization’s goals. Helping staff “work smarter, not harder” can improve overall efficiency of labor inputs and lead to better quality, safer food. All of us can identify someone who gets in a tizzy when the work pace increases. This is the person who is always in reactive mode rather than being proactive with planning tasks. You know, the person who makes multiple trips to the storeroom for supplies rather than gathering their thoughts and identifying everything needed with one trip. ...