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Accountability Supports Food Safety Culture

With the low unemployment numbers, and competition for good workers, many managers may choose to look the other way when staff do not complete tasks when and how they should. You may recall the parent who tells the little scamp, I’m going to count to three – one, two, two and a half, two and three quarters, etc. – only to find there is no change in behavior. That little scamp may well end up in juvie because he/she was never held accountable for behavior – the parents always looked the other way just to keep the peace. But a failure to act has unintended consequences, not just for the child, but for others in the family. It is the same in any foodservice operation–lack…

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. ...

Training – The Answer to Everything?

Will training of staff fix everything that is wrong with the workplace? Well, not really, although it certainly is identified often enough as the silver bullet! Someone not doing something the right way? Send them for training (or retraining!) As Dr. Kevin Roberts covered in the recent SafeBites Webinar  about development of the workforce, training staff is key in building a strong food safety culture in any foodservice operation. This first blog for April will address the fundamentals of training.Later this month, the second blog will focus on some “how to’s” that you mightuse. Often the Person-in-Charge (PIC), who is knowledgeable about food safety andhas earned a Certified Food Protection Manager Credential, is designated asresponsible for employees’ safe food behavior. Yet, the PIC may not...

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...

Food Safety Doesn’t Just Happen!

No, food safety in retail foodservices doesn’t happen by accident—it is well planned and executed. It is controllable and foodborne illnesses are preventable! While food workers implement correct food handling and cleaning practices, the operators (managers, supervisors, or the person-in-charge) play a key role in making sure that safe food handling practices are known to all and actually followed. Today, we are introducing you to the term active managerial control and what it means in your operation.  In the next blog, we will talk about how it is implemented in foodservice operations.   What is active managerial control? It is a proactive approach to food safety where procedures and systems are in place to identify potential food safety issues, and allow you to address them...

The Politics of Food Safety – Part Two

Hi everyone. Keeping with the theme of politics, our blog postings for the month of November are about food safety regulations. In the first blog, we provided background on agencies and their oversight for different foods. In this blog, we are covering elements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that was signed into law January of 2011. FSMA was heralded as significant food safety legislation as it enhanced and expanded regulatory oversight. FSMA consists of Seven Rules: Preventative Controls for Human and Animal Foods; Produce Safety Rule; Foreign Supplier Verification Programs; Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies; Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food; and Prevention of Intentional Contamination/Adulteration. Most of these Rules affected production, processing, and transportation links of the food chain. While foodservices…

The Politics of Food Safety – Part One

Well, unless you have had your ear buds in and have sequestered yourself from all media, you are aware that November is Election Month! November 6th is the day that voters across the country will weigh in on their representation at local, state, and national levels. Given this frenzy, Jeannie and I thought the politics of food safety would be a great blog theme for this month. Specifically, we will cover the “what” and “why” of legislative actions designed to improve the safety of food from farm to fork. History Lesson Let’s start at the beginning. In 1906, muck-racking journalism was alive and well, and a little book called “The Jungle”, written by Upton Sinclair, was published. The book vividly described the, shall we say,…