With all the press recently about several separate incidents of food borne illness outbreaks concerning the Chipotle chain, are you asking yourself, could that happen to my operation? The simple is answer is a strong "YES". Food safety is not something that you only do when you think the health inspector is due for the inspection. It is something that really needs to be a part of how you run your food service operation day in and day out. It should be the main focus of your food safety management system. The damage that a food borne illness outbreak can cause to your operation will be monumental in scope, dashing sales, further growth and perhaps even the existence of your operation. With today's social media capability to deliver news, good and bad, at warp speed, foodservice operators need to maintain the highest standards concerning food safety.
Here are five questions that I, as an operator, would ask myself every day.
1 Does my staff know how to properly clean and sanitize, and do they practice these instructons every day?
2 Does all of my staff know how to and practice good personal hygiene?
3 Do I buy my goods from "Approved Reputable Suppliers?
4 Are all my vendors regular customers of mine?
5 Would I bring my family to eat at my establishment?
The first three question are benchmarks for food safety. The last two questions should have one really thinking of their operation and how safe it seems to outside unbiased viewers. If your vendors, who see your "back of the house operations" are not coming in to eat on a regular basis, you really must give pause to that. Why not?
I know, as a sales rep, what your kitchen looks like. What would your customer base think of you if they all saw what I see on a regular basis?