by Andrew Thomson on March 1, 2017
Food poisoning is a risk restaurateurs should be aware of! So why is food safety training not a priority for the hospitality industry?
As mentioned in my article Salmonella Hits Food Service Operations, most food-borne illnesses are the result of poor handling practices, with the main issues being poor standards of hygiene by food handlers, cross-contamination between raw and fresh ready-to-eat foods, improper cooking and cooling procedures and temperature abuse during storage.
Foodborne illness is not only serious, it can be fatal to certain groups of people that include pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.
Surprisingly, many restaurateurs choose to ignore their food safety responsibilities by not providing their employees with high quality food safety management training. As a consultant and former food regulator I have had many reasons put to me over the years why this form of training is not a priority. These include:
- high turn-over of employees
- employee scheduling availability for training
- manager does not have time
- a lack of funds for training
- a lack of training facilities
- employees don’t follow what I say or procedures
Whilst some of these issues may be valid, no one would argue that a basic training program in food safety is critical for any new or existing employee to enable them to perform their job well in producing safe food, thereby protecting your business interests and risks.
It’s important you focus on a solid training program coupled with hands on supervision to reinforce the information. This means you need to have a knowledge of food law and a high degree of understanding of food hygiene and food safety to ensure effective control.
It is critical that your employees have knowledge and understanding of correct food safety practices and this is consistently applied on-the-job.
Most of your employees will learn by doing and by practicing skills as they perform their daily tasks.
When people develop confidence, they automatically become proactive, solutions-focused and this has a positive flow on effect on all employees across the business.
Food must be safe to eat. As a food business owner:
- you must be committed to providing a safe product
- ensure your employees receive high quality training in food hygiene and safety
- provide leadership and ongoing support and guidance for food handling staff.
Taking a proactive approach to training employees in all aspects of food safety management is of critical importance for the survival of your business.
Think ST Solutions offers you practical solutions at a management level and to your staff whether you operate in hospitals, aged care facilities, restaurants, hotels or the food industry generally. We specialise in developing useful tools to assist you in the areas of food safety, strategic planning, business management, risk and compliance training and easy to implement business consultancy solutions.