Whichever you decide, because some jurisdictions have more stringent requirements than the conference for food protection, check with your local health department to make sure they also recognize the exam before you pay for it.
In the foodservice industry, every plate that leaves your kitchen carries not just flavors and aromas, but also the responsibility of providing safe and wholesome meals to customers. Celebrated each September, National Food Safety Education Month provides a platform for foodservice professionals to reaffirm their commitment to food safety. It's a reminder that excellence in foodservice operations must always be accompanied by excellence in food safety; a reminder that any great meal begins with safe food as the foundation.
Technology. We love it, we hate it. I’ve always been fascinated by technology; I remember getting my first Blackberry in the mid-90s and thinking it was the pinnacle of technological advances. Before that, I remember ordering a dictation program in college that was going to revolutionize the way I “typed” my assignments. Looking back, it really wasn’t worth the box that the program came in. Now, we have ChatGPT that will write the entire paper for us!
Late in June, my family and I were able to visit the Black Hills, an area of the country in which I have not had the opportunity to spend much time. One evening, as we dined at a local restaurant, I observed a table across the dining room sending back a dinner. While I couldn’t hear the entire conversation and I certainly wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, it was apparent that the customer was unhappy with the cooking of their hamburger and was sending it back because it was too pink in the middle. That immediately brought to my mind the phenomenon known as persistent pinking. A term I became familiar with because of work done by some colleagues here at Kansas State, which they present each summer to a group of foodservice operators who join us on-campus for an in-depth week-long look at all things food safety.
In June, I had the opportunity to represent FoodHandler and speak on food safety behavior for customers of Martin Bros. Distributing in Waterloo, Iowa. One of the questions that was asked caught me a little off guard. The question was about quat binding. It caught me off guard not because it was a bad question, but only because it was not something I had previously been asked nor had not yet been exposed to the phenomenon. However, I soon learned that in certain jurisdictions, it is resulting in changes to how sanitizing cloths are to be stored in sanitizing buckets (or not) in the foodservice industry. When I returned home from the trip, I had to dig into it to learn about what quat binding is and how it might impact foodservice operations.
I generally try to stay away from controversial topics in my blog, but this is one I thought it might be interesting to discuss. Occasionally on my travels, I will come across a state or a local jurisdiction that requires foodservice inspection scores be posted in the window of the establishment. The idea is to allow would-be customers the ability to see how the foodservice operation in which they are about to eat scored on their latest health inspection.
Neglected Safety: CDC Report Casts Doubts on the Ability of the Foodservice Industry to Ensure Ill Workers Stay at HomeFood Safety Experts2023-06-05T19:52:32+00:00
Early in June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report outlining foodborne illness outbreaks in retail foodservice establishments. The report outlined outbreaks from 25 state and local health departments from 2017 through 2019.
This afternoon I met some friends for lunch and as I drove through our beautiful downtown area in Manhattan, KS, I noticed that many people were taking advantage of the gorgeous weather and dining outside with friends. For our local community - outdoor dining is one of the remnants of COVID that we actually have come to enjoy on beautiful days. With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, many foodservice operations are taking advantage of the warm weather by offering outdoor dining options.
Late last month, I was exploring job tasks that are important for entry-level foodservice managers to understand related to food safety. The usual items that you would suspect were on the list were certainly included – foodborne outbreaks; temperature danger zone; physical, biological, and chemical contamination; personal hygiene and proper glove use; HACCP systems, etc. But one thing I noticed was missing that really is integral to protecting the food supply in any foodservice operation is air gaps.
Earlier this month, we started to see information coming out about a foodborne illness outbreak from an unlikely source – flour. As of early-April, 12 people had fallen ill, and three people had been hospitalized as a result of flour contaminated with Salmonella. While the outbreak is still in its early stages, no individuals have died because of their illness. A specific source has not yet been identified in the outbreak, but all who have fallen ill have reported eating raw batter or dough due before developing symptoms – and flour has been identified as the only common ingredient in these batters and doughs.