Fatz Caf?: continuous training and reinforcement to establish a culture of food safety

Chain Leader magazine reports that new kitchen employees at Fatz Café in South Carolina take a food-safety pre-test and must receive an 80 percent or higher before they can begin training. Workers take another practice quiz, then a final food-safety test. The company also promotes quarterly initiatives on food-safety topics that are discussed at the monthly operator-partner meetings. Handouts and new training tools are sent via mail and e-mail, and presented during pre-shift meetings.

Director of Training Sara Anderson said,

"We were already doing ServSafe [the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s food-safety training program] with our management, but we wanted to make sure that it was truly getting down to the front lines. …

"We really had to start marketing to them to get the buy-in on the importance of it. These habits take time to form. Educating people on why it’s so important has really helped make it happen and make it become real-life practices. We just keep adding more and more aspects of it. It’s become a part of our culture more than it ever was. … We’re sticking to basics and constantly talking about it."

Food safety information must be rapid, reliable, relevant and repeated. And to really create a culture that values microbiologically safe food, start marketing such efforts.