When you go out to eat, you expect that employees are handling your food properly. That means everything from proper handwashing to wearing gloves and maintaining the proper food temperatures. The ServSafe Program of the National Restaurant Association is a top way foodservice employees learn about the proper food safety techniques and procedures. It’s all designed to improve food sanitation to keep employees and customers safe and prevent foodborne illnesses.
Requirements for ServSafe training vary from state to state, so I am going to focus this post on our home state, North Carolina. Right now, our state requires that at least one ServSafe Certified manager be on duty at all times during operating hours. You can read more details about that requirement here. However, a state lawmaker wants to relax them and require fewer certifications per restaurant. A main concern is the cost of certification in an industry the lawmaker claims has high turnover.
Here’s the problem. Many people think the foodservice industry is easy and that following the rules doesn’t require much effort. However, a lot of people do not realize the detail that goes into food preparation and sanitation for a safe and healthy eating environment. According to their website, ServSafe training teaches:
- The Importance of Food Safety
- Good Personal Hygiene
- Time and Temperature Control
- Preventing Cross-Contamination
- Cleaning and Sanitizing
- Safe Food Preparation
- Receiving and Storing Food
- Methods of Thawing, Cooking, Cooling and Reheating Food
- HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)
- Food Safety Regulations
These things are not necessarily intuitive. Even a seemingly small mistake or deviation from the techniques could cause serious health effects or even death for people eating in your restaurant. Yes, there’s a cost associated with certifying your staff members. However, there’s an even larger cost associated with making someone sick because staff members aren’t trained in the proper food safety techniques. A single food safety violation or illness could put you out of business. At the end of the day, it’s about keeping customers safe and maintaining your restaurant’s good name/reputation.
We want to hear what you think about ServSafe rules. Post in the comments section below!