NRA Special Report: ServSafe Updates and Broadening Food Safety Culture

Aside from the menu, food safety is arguably the biggest factor that underlines a restaurant’s success — or if done improperly, downfall.

In this NRA Special Report edition of “On Foodable Weekly,” we are joined by three food safety champions: Hal King, president and CEO of Public Health Innovations, LLC; Mick Miklos, senior manager for program compliance at the National Restaurant Association; and Dave Crownover, product manager at ServSafe®.

“One of the things Mick and I, and even Hal, talk about is [that] to serve food safely, it takes commitment from the top down,” Crownover said, from the smallest food card to the largest multinational chains. “...And it is recognizing that without that commitment, they’re not going to be in business.”

What are some of the most recurring issues restaurants face when it comes to food safety?

“I think sanitation and cleaning is still a big challenge. I’ll be [at] restaurants and see the red bucket and the rag,” King said, urging for more innovation. “It can be used safely if it’s maintained in a sanitizer solution, but often times what happens is they [the kitchen staff] gets so busy, they’ll use that as a way to clean and sanitize without actually using cleaners and sanitizers.”

Currently, most food codes suggest that there should be one certified food protection manager per establishment, but there is a potential in the next iteration of the food code in 2017 that a CFPM will need to be present at all shifts. But beyond the internal team being prepared, it is even more so important to establish a positive relationship with external regulatory agencies and to not have an us-against-them mentality.

“I can tell you from direct experience that a crisis is not the time to be exchanging business cards for the first time with the regulatory authority in the jurisdiction,” Miklos said. “We are partners with a common purpose, and that purpose to protect the dining public.”

Want to learn more about broadening the food safety culture? Watch the episode now!