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Be Proactive and Train a Food Safety Supervisor

A blog discussing the benefits of training key staff to be a food safety supervisor.

A food safety supervisor is someone who ensures both food safety and food management protocols are followed.  There are a lot of rules, regulations and safe practices which must be observed when working with food in businesses that serve the public.  Things such as the temperature at which a food must be stored, how long that food can last at that temperature before expiration and to what temperature a specific food needs to be cooked in order to be safe for consumption.  That’s a lot of fine details for a person to worry about in an establishment that handles a high volume of patrons regularly but it is a necessary evil.

If you run a food service business such as a bar or restaurant, you’ll want to make sure that your management staff are trained and certified food safety supervisors.  This will guarantee that your establishment is adhering to all food and safety regulations and will keep things running incident free.  It’s also not a bad idea to make sure that your chef is a food safety supervisor - the head of the kitchen should always be aware of and in control of food quality.

Food safety seems to have become a major issue in the last decade or less.  Between serious issues like Mad-Cow Disease and H1N1 virus, not to mention the more common issues such as salmonella poisoning and other cross-contamination problems, it’s a business owner’s responsibility to protect the public as much as possible.  The first and easiest step is to demand that all your critical staff be up-to-date on all regulations and deem on of them to be a food safety supervisor.  A bar or restaurant should never have to ‘worry’ about the health and safety inspector showing up for an unscheduled visit - if you do worry about this then perhaps it’s because you know you aren’t meeting safety protocols. 

Some of the biggest violators of safety protocols in the food industry are the serving-staff, or waiters and waitresses.  Typically they don’t handle the raw food in preparation but they often deal with customers who have allergies.  As such, a server should be very aware of contaminating a dish with an allergen and all servers should be aware if there is a customer in the building with a life-threatening allergy.  It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure that that customer has a safe and enjoyable meal.  Dishes are prepared and put up in a heat-window while they await transport to customers, this is where and when cross contamination of allergens is most likely to occur. A simple bumping or miscarrying of plates can contaminate a dish so it’s important that a food safety supervisor discuss ways to avoid this.  It’s not just nut allergies that need to be considered; anaphylactic responses can occur with anything from ground pepper to citrus fruit and even strawberries.  A food safety supervisor can help regulate allergy procedures, monitor a known allergy-plate or table and help to streamline the way servers handle a customer with a severe allergy.

There is no downside to making sure you have a food safety supervisor, or multiple ones, onsite, everyday.  In the end you are proactively taking steps to protect your customers, employees and your business from things like fines or even worse, legal proceedings.