From our partners at the National Restaurant Association
To kick off National Food Safety Month last week, we revisited food safety basics and explored the role that food handlers play in preventing the spread of pathogens. This week, we take a closer look at the role that restaurant and foodservice managers have in promoting a safe environment for their customers through self-inspection and risk mitigation. By learning what to look for in health inspections, managers can run regular assessments and make preparation a part of their staff’s regular routine. Let’s take a closer look at how managers can stay prepared.
A Manager’s Role in Food Safety
Restaurant and foodservice managers are faced with the critical role of fostering a food-safe environment. One of the best ways managers can create an ongoing strategy for success is by staying prepared for health inspections. Health inspectors want to know that managers are running a safe, clean operation by checking for many of the basic food safety practices we covered last week. Running regular self-inspections is a great way to test staff knowledge, address problems at the source, and ensure a safe and enjoyable dining experience for customers. An equally important role managers have in fostering a food-safe environment is preventing dangerous foodborne illnesses caused by cross-contamination.
A Restaurant Manager’s Guide to Passing Health Inspections
Much like restaurant managers, keeping customers safe is a health inspector’s number one priority. In our guide, we go over some common health inspection challenges, the basic policies, practices, and requirements managers must have in place before an inspection, and what managers can do to stay prepared.
Preparing for your next health inspection with a self-inspection checklist is a great way to make sure your staff is up to speed on food safety practices and check your facility for potential issues. Make sure to speak with your local health department about food safety guidelines for your area and review your state and local food codes frequently for specific requirements and updates.
Risks and Prevention of Norovirus
Norovirus is a serious, highly contagious illness that is spread through close contact, contaminated food, or contaminated surfaces. This virus sends around 70,000 people to the hospital each year and nearly 70% of outbreaks can be traced back to infected food service workers. As a restaurant manager, knowing the risks can help you prevent contamination and manage an outbreak should one occur. These basic prevention tips can help protect staff members, customers, and the greater public:
- Exclude food handlers who are vomiting or have diarrhea from the operation
- Prevent handling ready-to-eat food with bare hands
- Make sure staff are washing hands thoroughly, whenever required
- Ensure fruits and vegetables are rinsed before use
- Regularly clean and sanitize surfaces and utensils
- Purchase shellfish from approved reputable suppliers