Jack in the Box. Taco Bell. Chipotle Mexican Grill. Trini & Carmen’s.
What do all these restaurants have in common?
We’ll give you a hint: their managers never asked the question, “What is a food safety certification?”
These restaurants, as well as many others, have made their way onto lists of the worst foodborne illness outbreaks in the US. Contaminated meat killed four Jack in the Box eaters; seventy-one people fell ill after eating contaminated lettuce from Taco Bell; Chipotle had an E. coli case that hospitalized dozens. Trini & Carmen’s forgot to follow the rule of not prepping food at home, resulting in an epic botulism outbreak that made 58 ill.
As a business owner, you can avoid terrible, reputation-wrecking instances like this by learning about things like proper food handling. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Food Safety Certification?
When you have a food safety certification, it implies to health inspectors that your business—whether it’s a restaurant, food distributor, or other—that you’ve undergone the proper training on how to care for food safely.
The average food safety course covers topics such as:
- Time and temperatures for various food items, including hot, cold, frozen, fresh, ready-to-eat, etc.
- Various foodborne illnesses, how they’re caused, and how to prevent them
- How to improve standards, reduce risk or recall, and instill employees with confidence
- How to store food properly
- How to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation levels
Which of Your Employees Needs This Certification?
Depending on your state, the requirements for who needs to be certified varies.
Some states require at least one person in the building to be food safety certified, while others don’t need to be. In other states, they require that every person handling food—even a cashier who takes orders at a coffee shop, for example—have a certification.
Luckily, paying for your staff to get certified doesn’t cost too much time or money, and it could end up saving your business from food mistakes or errors in the future.
Is Certification Required to Operate?
Understandably so, every restaurant is required to have a food handler’s permit to open their doors for business.
This proves your restaurant follows regulations, meets operating standards, and complies with safe food storage, sanitation, protection, and more.
To learn more about your state’s requirements, get in touch with your local DOH. They can refer you to a food safety program, like the SQF food safety course, that’s approved by your state.
Food Safety: ‘Cause There’s No Reason Not to Get Certified
As a business owner, it’s easy to get set up with food safety professionals in your area. It’s as simple as contacting the Department of Health in your area and getting in touch with local teachers. They’ll train, educate, test, and certify staff members to handle food safely and smartly, earning you the good reputation you deserve.
Now you’ll never again ask the question, “What is a food safety certification?” Instead, you might be wondering, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
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