Make Food Safety Part of Your New Year Review
As we roll into a new calendar year, you may be setting aside time to review key aspects of your business like financials, sales, staffing, and inventory. As you make this year’s list, be sure to include food safety. Reviewing current licenses, staff training, and key concerns/citations from past food inspections can help set you on the right track to checking food safety off the list.
Most states require that one or more people at your establishment take food safety training from an approved provider. It is important to check with staff members that hold these licenses to ensure that their license has not expired or will not expire within the next year. If the former, look into what needs to be done to renew right away. If the latter, discuss when they will be renewing and follow-up to ensure they complete the training on time. Many Reinhart divisions currently offer food manager training through ServSafe® from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF).
Even if staff members do not need to be licensed or take the full food manager course, consider the last time your employees had any food safety training. Such trainings cannot be a “one and done” affair as regulations and staff change frequently. Consider setting up a schedule for the new year and posting it so staff are aware of upcoming trainings. Even a 5-10 minute in-service at the beginning or end of an employee meeting once a month can serve as a refresher of food safety expectations. Reinhart offers many in-services related to food safety, available in the RFS Document Library in TRACS® Direct.
Finally, pull out your most recent food inspections. Although an inspector will require you to address major violations immediately, it is easy to overlook minor violations. These are just as important and should be reviewed both immediately after the inspection as well as part of your new year review. Do these violations relate to issues with equipment that needs to be fixed or replaced, or are they employee practices that need to be addressed as part of an in-service such as handwashing or employee illness policies? A kitchen self-inspection checklist is also available in the RFS Document Library in TRACS® Direct.
©2019 National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). All rights reserved. ServSafe is a registered trademark of the NRAEF, used under license by National Restaurant Solutions, LLC. The logo appearing next to ServSafe is a trademark of the National Restaurant Association.