August 31
National Food Safety Month: Understand the Process
 
This September marks the 25th anniversary of National Food Safety Month. To celebrate, we’ll be sharing resources all month to help you reinforce the importance of food safety with your staff.
 
Our theme for 2019 is “Controlling Risk: The Elements of a Food Safety Program.”  We’re kicking off the campaign by talking about how important it is to have a Food Safety Management System, or FSMS, and how vital it is that employees understand it.
 
A FSMS is a system designed to control food safety hazards and ensure that the food you serve is safe to eat. While management designs the FSMS, it’s essential that employees understand the policies and procedures so they can effectively carry them out.
 
Having a FSMS is important; the FDA Risk Factor Study discovered that an inadequate food safety management system is the strongest predictor of non-compliance with food safety regulations.
 
You are the key to making it work. No matter what your role in the restaurant, the safety of your guests and fellow employees in your hands. That means it’s your job to understand and follow the rules each and every time – and make sure others are following the rules. It’s also important that you stay aware and suggest improvements wherever you see they could be made.    
 
Here are some of the ways having a robust Food Safety Management System (FSMS) makes work and life better for everyone:
 
Makes your job easier
 
An FSMS creates consistency and efficiency in how and when employees perform food safety tasks in varying situations. When everyone knows what to do, and when to do it, it takes the guesswork out of food safety.
 
Defines your role in the system
 
By educating all food preparation and handling workers, an FSMS illustrates the vital importance of each person’s job in controlling food hazards. Food safety is everyone’s responsibility.
 
Builds teamwork 
 
Knowing how each person relies on each of the other team members for overall food safety unites everyone in a common purpose: protecting the public and keeping the restaurant open.
 
Puts theory into practice
 
Improving the restaurant’s operations requires the input of employees who perform day-to-day tasks. Let your boss know what is or isn’t working. Or, if you’re the boss, make sure your employees feel comfortable coming to you with suggestions for improvement.
 
Remember, food safety comes down to you! Consistency in following the rules is the only way to ensure your guests and fellow employees stay safe from foodborne illness.
 
Want a helpful visual reminder of how important it is for everyone to follow the rules consistently? Download our poster and infographic, and share this activity sheet with employees.