Food safety is behavior-based. Public health inspections are a necessary means to ensure compliance with food safety regs but are a snap shot in time. It may be more beneficial to provide some on-site training during the inspection to effectively engage operators. They’ll be in their own environment, feel comfortable, and by actually working with them hands-on; you can break the English-as-second language barrier, if that exists.
Two different Paulding County restaurants failed their health and safety inspections this past week, with inspectors finding problems ranging from raw chicken being stored on the floor to food that should have been thrown away still being in the cooler. China Wok, off of Dallas Nebo Road at 4813 Ridge Rd., scored a 63/U on its inspection Tuesday and Las Palmas Restaurant, at 480 Watts Rd. in Hiram, scored an even lower 55/U on Monday. At China Wok, inspectors said they found raw chicken being stored in a plastic bin on the floor. Rangoons were found in a small metal bowl being stored on top of a trash can. In the cooler, an uncovered container of raw chicken was being stored above containers of sauce and another bowl of raw chicken was being stored above green onions. Food residue was found on a knife and potato peeler that were supposed to be clean, an employee was wearing a charm bracelet while preparing food and another was serving food without any kind of hair restraint. Managers were found not to be properly trained and the restaurant couldn’t show that workers had gotten the proper food safety training. At Las Palmas, cooked pork, pasta noodles, stuffed peppers and refried beans all were found with date markings that meant they should already have been thrown out. The marking on the beans suggested they were more than two-and-a-half weeks old. Packages of raw ground beef were being stored next to lettuce, raw shrimp was left in a sink to thaw, two microwaves had food debris in them from the day before and food was being stored at the wrong temperature. Managers didn’t display they’d had the proper training and the restaurant had no established procedures for what to do if a customer gets sick while there, the report said. According to state policies, the restaurants will be inspected again within the next 10 days. If either hasn’t addressed the problems from the original inspection by then, inspectors could shut the restaurant down until the problems are fixed.
Not going to solve the issue. The problems may be altered temporarily and the restaurant will be open for business. However, from my experience, unless you can tackle the underlying issues that contributing to the problems initially; the restaurant will resort its’ original state. It’s all about behavior and effective training.
Ernest Griffin, 71, was sentenced Wednesday and also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, according to the office.
Griffin had pleaded guilty in March 2016 to one count of federal program bribery, according to court records.
His business, Food Safety Awareness, contracted with the Illinois Department of Public Health to offer food handling courses. Students needed to complete a 15-hour course and take an exam in order to receive sanitation certificates from the health department.
In exchange for bribes, Griffin submitted false certifications and false test results to the department, although prosecutors and Griffin’s lawyer disagreed on the total amount of bribes the man received, court documents show.
Prosecutors said that starting in at least 2008 and continuing through January 2015 Griffin received bribes from students, taking in a total of almost $152,000. His lawyer, in a filing, said that Griffin admitted to receiving more than $5,000 a year in bribes from 2010 through 2014.
The government said that Griffin’s bribery scheme ended only after he was confronted by FBI agents in January 2015.
The government contended that during that four-year period, about 675 students who hadn’t taken the required class or exam were given sanitation certificates.
I just registered for an Ice Hockey Australia Level 2 coaching course.
The course is rarely offered, and there’s only a couple of level 2 coaches in Queensland. It will take 25 hours of training to complete.
That’s on top of the 16 hours I put in for Coach 1 in Australia, and recertification every two years.
It’s similar to the Intermediate Level Coach status I had in Canada back in 2001, which was required to coach a rep or travel team.
It’s a lot of time, sitting in a classroom, and on the ice.
I view it as my church, my community service.
So when Chipotle makes a big deal saying all of its managers will be trained in food safety the ServSafe way, I shrug, and ask, why weren’t they before?
How far was Chipotle’s head up its own moralistic ass that it paid more attention to food porn – like hormones and GE foods – than to food safety, the things that make people barf?
Great, you’re going to require training. Anyone ask if the training is any good? Third-party audits? Nice soundbite but they’re just a paycheck. Handwashing every thirty minutes? McDonald’s have been doing that for decades (you’d think Chipotle would have picked that up when they were partnered with McDonald’s, but no, there was food porn to peddle).
The Chipotle announcement reads like a moralistic lecture, and that no one had discovered food safety before.
Some scientists may question such tactics, saying they have been supplanted by newer methods. But Dr. James Marsden, Chipotle’s new executive director of food safety, who had recently retired from teaching at Kansas State University (and the father of the actor James Marsden, best known as Cyclops in the “X Men” film series) said he was confident in them.
“We’re doing research and are going to publish papers on what we’re doing, so people can see for themselves that it works,” he said.
That’s all good, but they’re still moralistic assholes who expect people to pay a premium for their food sermons (journos, contact me for Marsden stories).
In a video that the Mexican burrito chain unveiled on Wednesday, a contrite Ells admits that last year, the fast-casual restaurant chain “failed to live up to our own food safety standards, and in so doing, we let our customers down. At that time, I made a promise to all of our customers that we would elevate our food safety program.”
Contrite is not the word I would use.
Looking to revalue Chipotle’s share price is more accurate.
Chipotle initially blamed the Centers for Disease Control and Australian beef for its woes. Today, it blamed social media.
“No one has ever had this kind of a food safety crisis in the era of social media,” Mr. Ells said.
I could list hundreds, beginning with E. coli O157 in spinach in 2006, you arrogant poser.
“Jack In The Box,” — a burger chain where more than 700 people got sick in 1993 after eating E. coli contaminated meat — “never had to deal with Facebook and Twitter,” he said.
When I coach, I’m always telling kids, and adults, stop blaming the refs, go score a goal, stop whinging.
What is fresh? Australian beef in the U.S.?
Is this guy stealing from Trump’s playbook?
It’s slogans and hucksterism.
Which Americans seem to go for.
And Mr. Ells, since you seem content on lecturing Americans about food safety, while blaming others, here’s a history lesson.
In the Fall of 1994, Intel computer chips became scrutinized by the computer geeks, and then the public.
Intel had delayed responding to allegations, and Wall Street analysts at the time said it was the result of a corporate culture accustomed to handling technical issues rather than addressing customers’ hopes and fears.
On Monday, Nov. 12, 1994, the International Business Machines Corp. abruptly announced that its own researchers had determined that the Pentium flaw would lead to division errors much more frequently than Intel said. IBM said it was suspending shipments of personal computers containing the Pentium chip
Mr. Grove was stunned. The head of IBM’s PC division, Richard Thoman, had given no advance warning. A fax from Thoman arrived at Intel’s HQ on Monday morning after the IBM announcement, saying he had been unable to find Grove’s number during the weekend. Mr. Grove, whose number is listed, called directory assistance twice to ask for his own number to ensure he was listed.
After the IBM announcement, the number of calls to Santa Clara overwhelmed the capacity of AT&T’s West Coast long-distance telephone switching centres, blocking calls. Intel stock fell 6.5 per cent
Only then, Mr. Grove said, did he begin to realize that an engineer’s approach was inappropriate for a consumer problem.
Intel took out full-page ads, apologized, and did better.
That was in months, not a year.
Mr. Ells, you can claim you’re in uncharted territory, that no one has experienced the woes like you have, that fresh is a meaningful term.
But it’s just a repeat.
Customers may expect you to have the humility to admit such failings when driven by the hubris of your own beliefs.
But hey, anyone who can get Americans to believe that 1,000 calorie burritos are healthy can do anything you damn well please.
And customers will bow down.
Investors. I wouldn’t touch it. But I said that in 2007.
Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune writes the U.S. National Restaurant Association on Friday agreed to train without charge about 170 employees at bodegas, restaurants and other food-service establishments in the city who received certificates in safe food handling from a consultant accused of selling bogus documents for as much as $450.
The association also said it suspended the consultant, Jorge De Jesus, whom it had hired to teach the courses and administer the exams needed to receive a so-called ServSafe certificate from the association.
De Jesus also was suspended with pay from his $51,602-a-year job as a code inspector for the city’s Inspectional Services department after a bogus ServSafe certificate found at Noelia Market on Lawrence Street was traced to him. The city shut the bodega last week.
The certificates are issued by the association, not the city, but the city requires them from merchants seeking the common victualler license needed to sell food. That made it a conflict of interest for De Jesus to issue even valid certificates in Lawrence, Assistant City Attorney Brian Corrigan said.
Even though the pathogenic capacity of L. monocytogenes is practically circumscribed to a few risk categories as pregnant women, newborns and different kinds of immunocompromised people, given its high case-fatality rate this disease represents the second cause of death for foodborne infection in Europe.
As it emerged from the reviewed literature, L. monocytogenes was recovered in many different food categories, which testifies the widespread of the pathogen in the food chain. The main causes of L. monocytogenes presence were poor microbiological quality of raw materials, cross-contamination, inadequate cleaning practices, improper storage temperature, inadequate preparation processes, and a lack in the training of staff on food hygiene.
In particular, cross-contamination of foods can be reduced by hand washing, use of gloves, separation of raw materials from end products, sanitation and disinfection of equipment and food contact surfaces, hence, a structured training program of staff on these practices is essential.
The occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes in mass catering: An overview in the European Union
International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 57, August 2016, Pages 9–17, doi:10.1016/j.ijhm.2016.05.005
A successful food safety intervention must be based on firm theories and a consideration of all relevant variables. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent of improvement in food safety knowledge and practices of food handlers in primary school canteens through food safety training.
– A list of 98 primary schools was randomized into intervention and control groups using a multistage sampling method. The training programme for the intervention group and questionnaires for evaluating knowledge and practices were developed. On-site observations were done to assess hygienic practices during the handling of raw food and cooking equipment. In total, 16 school canteens participated in this study.
– Knowledge about personal hygiene and related to rules for preparing safe food was significantly improved after the food safety intervention. Some of the improvement was sustained for up to 12 weeks after the intervention. The self-reported practice score of food safety and hygiene in the intervention group was significantly higher at post1 and post2 compared to baseline. A significant within-group and between-group improvement was demonstrated for the observed behaviour of raw food handling and equipment sanitation.
– The originality of this study is to provide a new framework for the design and implementation of food safety intervention in school canteens targeted towards a specific enabling factor for behavioural change. Provision of food safety training grounded by the theory of planned behaviour was associated with significantly improved food safety knowledge and behaviour amongst food handlers.
Effect of food safety training on food handlers’ knowledge and practices
Folklorama in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is a 14-day temporary food service event that explores the many different cultural realms of food, food preparation, and entertainment. In 2010, the Russian pavilion at Folklorama was implicated in a foodborne outbreak of Escherichia coli O157 that caused 37 illnesses and 18 hospitalizations. The ethnic nature and diversity of foods prepared within each pavilion presents a unique problem for food inspectors, as each culture prepares food in their own very unique way. The Manitoba Department of Health and Folklorama Board of Directors realized a need to implement a food safety information delivery program that would be more effective than a 2-h food safety course delivered via PowerPoint slides. The food operators and event coordinators of five randomly chosen pavilions selling potentially hazardous food were trained on-site, in their work environment, focusing on critical control points specific to their menu. A control group (five pavilions) did not receive on-site food safety training and were assessed concurrently. Public health inspections for all 10 pavilions were performed by Certified Public Health Inspectors employed with Manitoba Health. Critical infractions were assessed by means of standardized food protection inspection reports. The results suggest no statistically significant difference in food inspection scores between the trained and control groups. However, it was found that inspection report results increased for both the control and trained groups from the first inspection to the second, implying that public health inspections are necessary in correcting unsafe food safety practices. The results further show that in this case, the 2-h food safety course delivered via slides was sufficient to pass public health inspections. Further evaluations of alternative food safety training approaches are warranted.
Our own Rob Mancini will be speaking at the 12th Annual North American Summit on Food Safety taking place at the Old Mill in Toronto on Thursday, April 21st, 2016.
The importance of training food handlers is critical to effective food hygiene; however, there have been limited studies on the effectiveness of such training.
Food safety training courses are administered worldwide in attempts to reduce outbreaks in food service, retail and temporary food service establishments. However, food handlers often exhibit a poor understanding of microbial or chemical contamination of food and the measures necessary to correct them.
Studies suggest that the provision of a hands-on format of training would be more beneficial than traditional classroom-based programs. The delivery of such a program may assist in changing ones’ food safety behaviours and aid in the retention of knowledge that are necessary to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
In addition to endless sausage sizzles, folks in Brisbane are forever hosting school fetes, dinners, and homemade goods for sale at the weekly tuck shop.
I’m always wary of such items because I have no idea of the preparation technique, sanitation and storage.
I need 16 hours of training to open a door on a kid’s hockey team, but nothing to offer up food for sale (that’s me this morning, after my practice, and before coaching a kids practice an hour later, getting in some blogging – I was working with the goalies so kept my pads on).
That’s going to change in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island.
Our weekends are dominated by hockey. Jack, the 7-year-old, practices early Saturday morning with games are Sundays. Sam, the 5-year-old, starts a learn to play hockey class this weekend.
Last year I went through 8 hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of online modules to qualify as a volunteer assistant coach. The worse thing I can do is accidentally hit a kid in the helmet with a puck or fall on one (both of those things have happened this year) but the training is required – and it made me a better coach.
It’s not like I’m handling food that people eat, where if I mess up people could get sick and die.
According to KHON2, Hawaiian health department folks are looking at mandatory food safety education for all food establishments in response to a bunch of poor inspections (maybe this is manager training, maybe for all food employees; I’m not sure).
The state health department says it may soon be asking food establishments to undergo mandatory food safety education in wake of a string of “red-carded” Oahu businesses in October.
Of the over 10,000 restaurant inspections done statewide since July 2014, the DOH says 2,000 restaurants had two or more critical violations.So what has the state learned since the placard system for food establishments was put in place? “One thing in our rules we’re probably going to change later on in the year is have a mandatory food safety education for all restaurants and food establishments in Hawaii,” said Peter Oshiro with the Department of Health.
Since fixing their violations, the North Shore bakery says it’s busier than usual.
“That’s great for the bakery,” Oshiro said. “For us, all we’re concerned with is that they correct violations that impact public health.”
Inspectors also discovered employees were not following proper hygiene or hand-washing rules, something Oshiro says is considered, “one of the most common violations in food establishments.” “It looks like they may need some form of food safety education so hopefully they might agree to something like that,” Oshiro said.
Jim Chan, a public health inspector for 36 years who retired in 2013 as manager of the food safety program at Toronto Public Heath, writes:
During my career as a Health Inspector, one question often asked by the public is “How safe is the ice in food and drinks serve in restaurants?” There is no easy Yes or No answer without having to explain how ice can be contaminated and in what conditions that ice can cause illness. In general, we tend to view ice much the same way we do with drinking water coming out from the tap, and assume that both water and ice are “clean.” Ice must be treated like food, as both can be a source of foodborne illness if not handled safely.
Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Canada have health code regulations around ice and both define ice as food. Here’s an example of code requirements for ice safety under Food Safety legislation: Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 562 (Food Premises) – Ice used in the preparation and processing of food or drink shall be made from potable water and shall be stored and handled in a sanitary manner. Most pathogenic organisms do not readily multiply in ice in restaurants that’s used for food and drinks. However, scientific research has also shown that some bacteria and viruses can survive cold or freezing for long period of time. Therefore, it is important for restaurant operators to ensure their ice does not become contaminated.
Contamination can be introduced by airborne particles, contaminated water supply, food handlers or dirty utensils. But the main cause of ice in restaurants, bars and hotels becoming contaminated is human error: improper ice handling. Training staff is critical to ice safety. Contaminated ice can cause foodborne illness – reduce your risk with regular cleanings, periodic thorough sanitation (by a professional), regular maintenance, and, of course, training. Note: If your commercial ice machine is in a high yeast environment (pizzerias and breweries for example) or if you’re water source is from a well, you will need additional professional deep cleanings.
Lack of regular inspections, exposure to poor hygiene and improper handling of ice will increase the risk of contamination. You don’t want your restaurant or hotel guests getting sick because of inadequate cleanings and sanitation of your ice machine.
To reduce the risk of ice being a source of foodborne illness, restaurant operators and managers should be aware of the following points and to conduct regular self-inspection to identify problems early:
1) Train restaurant or bar staff in proper ice handling practices (bar and kitchen)
Wash hands before getting ice from ice making machine.
Hold only the ice scoop handle and not other parts of the scoop.
Do not scoop ice using water glasses or cups and never handle the ice with hands.
Do not return unused ice to the ice machine/ice bin.
Keep doors of the commercial ice machine closed except when removing ice.
Ice scoops should be stored outside the ice maker and kept in a clean container. Ice scoop & container should be washed & sanitized regularly.
Do not store anything such as food, drinks, fruit etc. in the ice machine. Never use ice machine as a refrigerator!
Clean the ice making machine regularly and fix all problems identified.
Never put Anything in the ice bin…except clean, untouched ice!
2) Inspect and clean/sanitize the ice making machine regularly
Inspect the exterior of the machine. Ensure the door, handle and hatch of the ice machine are clean and in good repair.
Look for any evidence of growth of scum, slime or mold inside the machine. If such growths are observed, immediately clean according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Tip: The ice should be removed from the ice bin and disposed during cleaning to avoid cross contamination by chemicals).
Routine cleaning of an ice making machine should be done at least weekly by staff and the process can be as simple as running a sanitizing solution through the cycle, then running two cycles of ice, dispose of these before running ice for drinks and food. Make sure this is part of your weekly cleaning schedule!
3) Routine Ice Machine Services, Maintenance and Major Cleaning/Sanitizing
The ice making machine should be serviced by a professional technician at least twice year, which requires being taken apart for inspection and major cleaning and sanitizing. This needs to be performed by a professional! By choosing Easy Ice for your ice machine (instead of owning or leasing), your ice maker subscription includes 2 deep cleanings a year. And they schedule it for you – saving you not only time but money! And you’re assured the ice machine is clean when the Health Inspector stops by.
A typical cleaning routine would include the following steps:
Turn off the electrical supply and empty the ice bin.
Remove the protective curtain or cover (if present) and check the drain to ensure it is clear.
Clean all surfaces inside using hot water and a cleaner or detergent, follow with an antibacterial sanitizer by wiping all internal surfaces and allow adequate contact-time for the sanitizer to work. (Tip: Do not rinse off the surfaces, allow to air dry)
Wash and sanitize the plastic curtains, cover, ice scoops etc… (Tip: Use hot water and detergent for washing and then soak in a sterilizing solution as per manufacturer’s instructions)
Check the door and ensure it can close tightly to prevent dirt entering the ice making machine.
Switch machine back on and ensure it works properly.
4) Additional factors to consider for cleaning and sanitizing of commercial ice machines
Microorganisms such as bacteria, can grow together and secret a matrix of polymers to form a protective shield known as Biofilm on surfaces such as food & ice container, ice machine walls, trays etc. Think of the bacteria producing a secretion to make a ‘bionic blanket’ covering themselves and protecting them from attack by chemicals such as cleaning & sanitizing agents. Within the biofilm, pathogens like Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, Shigella can survive and can cause spoilage or infection later when released.
The best way to prevent biofilms from developing is regular cleaning & sanitizing all surfaces that come in contact with food, drinks & ice. However, if biofilms already formed, surfaces must be physically cleaned by scrubbing and than follow with sanitizing to kill the pathogens to ensure a clean and safe environment for food, drinks & ice.
Ice safety is as important as food safety and should be a priority for your restaurant, hotel or bar. By following the above protocol, you can be assured of serving your guests clean, safe ice. Choose to ignore these key points and you may receive a fine, or worse – a shut down, from the Health Inspector. Protect your reputation, your guests and your bank account.