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What is Food Safety Management?

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  • Written By: Jessica Bosari
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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A food safety management system is a program comprised of interrelated procedures, activities, and recommended equipment used to ensure food does not harm human health. These programs are often run by top managers in the restaurant and food manufacturing businesses. They are designed to ensure that consumers are kept safe from food borne illness and that facilities can pass required health inspections.

An important part of any food safety management system is a set of food safety guidelines or policies. An organization that produces food, whether it is by manufacture or in restaurant management, must define a food safety policy statement. This statement will detail the general intentions and goals of management to work towards food safety. It will underscore the organization’s commitment to an effective food safety management system.

Food safety standards are also important in a food safety management system. The ISO 2200 is an internationally recognized set of standards. In the US, food safety regulations focused on the entire food industry are managed by the Food and Drug Administration. Local standards are also set by a county’s local health department, which performs inspections two to four times each year to ensure food is handled safely.

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Health inspectors visit restaurants and food manufacturing facilities to enforce local food safety laws and educate workers on proper ways to handle food. They place the highest importance on procedures that reduce the chance that food borne illness will spread to consumers. Regular hand washing, proper cooking and cooling procedures, and sanitation of dishes and utensils are checked.

They will also look to be sure food storage containers are dated and that thermometers are properly calibrated. The facility will be checked for cleanliness and potentially hazardous foods. Seafood is especially scrutinized, because it has a high potential for bacterial contamination. Inspectors will look over every aspect of food safety management.

Restaurant owners must understand local health codes to ensure public safety. One way to demonstrate this knowledge is through food safety certification. Restaurant managers can be certified through any one of many food safety management education companies. This knowledge is also important because health inspectors will quiz managers and employees to ensure they have a thorough understanding of food safety procedures.

Management and staff must be regularly trained for proper food safety practices. Employees need to show they know how to handle food safely. A health inspector can shut down a restaurant if he or she is unsatisfied with employees’ level of knowledge on how to work safely with food.

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Pimiento
Post 4

@doppler - No, they really do care! Just because some one won't outright say, "I see you have such and such license or certification," doesn't mean they are not looking. It looks especially good if you're been in the food service industry and have the food safety manager certification because that will say one of two things.

For one, it will say that you have experience in Managing an establishment in the food service industry and two, it tells your potential employer that they don't have to pay out of their pocket for your certification because you already have it.

doppler
Post 3

@Pimiento - How does having a certification like that "look good" on your resume? Just wondering. I don't think a lot of people seem to care about certifications anymore...

Pimiento
Post 2

@empanadas - The certification or qualifications are going to be different in every place, but it makes sense that you would have a manager's certification because a place like that could literally get shut down without some one operating that store without that license in hand. Food safety training is important regardless of whether or not your company actually requires you to have it. It's a plus on a resume.

empanadas
Post 1

Most managers have to have a food safety management certification. I used to work for a bulk candy store and as the Store Manager I had to have the certification while my associates had to have a lesser certification like food handler or something to that extent.

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