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Food Recalls: Another Important Reason to Have a Sound Traceability Program in your Foodservice Operation

Earlier in the month, I discussed a bit about the proposed traceability rules that may be coming out soon. One result of implementing the proposed rule and improving overall food traceability in your operation is the ability of those in the food chain to quickly identify and pull product involved in a food recall. If you are in the food or foodservice industry, and have not been impacted by a recall, I would venture to say you have not been paying close attention. Just in the month of June, there have been 14 food-safety related recalls on products used for human consumption. These products ranged from cereal to ground spices. Most recalls in the United States are voluntary; however, the Food Safety Modernization Act did...

Food Traceability in Foodservice Operations: An Essential, and Soon-to-be Required, Component of your Food Safety Plan

In June, I discussed the importance of having a solid food defense plan, and I provided you some resources for developing or strengthening your food defense plan. As I was writing those blogs, my mind kept turning toward food traceability. While they are distinctly different concepts, food traceability goes hand-in-hand with a food defense program. I would argue for your food defense plan to be effective, you must have an effective internal food traceability program, where you can trace the product back to the supplier (backward traceability), but also be able to trace the product from the supplier to the guest who was served the product (forward traceability). Forward traceability is often the most difficult for foodservice operators. If you are a commercial restaurant operator,...

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…

Be Prepared! Is YOUR Foodservice Ready to Respond to an Emergency?

The last few months, we have been thinking a lot about emergency or disaster situations. While both of us are “half glass full” type of people, we do recognize the value of having a plan just in case! One only has to see the news to become aware that Mother Nature can, on occasion, be cruel (Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes, oh my!). Add in situations created by humans (fires, broken water mains, etc.) and it is clear that odds are something can cause a disruption in your foodservice operation. So, being prepared (just like a Boy Scout) is the right thing to do.  In the first blog for this month, we will provide an overview of how to get prepared. Our second blog will cover some…