8/16/12 505-343-9848


Food safety is one of the most important issues in the restaurant and foodservice industry throughout the year, and is receiving particular attention this time of year. As part of the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) continuing efforts to educate the industry and the public about food safety best practices, National Food Safety Month (NFSM) will be held for the 18th consecutive year this September.

Restaurants serve 130 million patrons each day, making the industry’s role in food safety critical.  The NFSM campaign underscores the importance of training employees in safe food handling practices.

The New Mexico Restaurant Association supports the NFSM campaign and encourages all restaurants in New Mexico to participate. “Food safety training is a journey rather than a destination, and should be an ongoing process in every restaurant, every day,” said Victoria Martinez, Development Director, New Mexico Restaurant Association. “The NFSM materials are designed to be used in quick, in-store huddles to keep food safety top of mind for all employees.”

This year’s NFSM theme is “Be Safe, Don’t Cross-Contaminate,” focusing on best practices for avoiding the spread of pathogens from one food or surface to another. Weekly training activity areas are: personal hygiene; hand-washing; cleaning and sanitizing surfaces; preventing cross-contamination during storage, preparation, and cooking; and preventing cross-contact of food allergens. These materials and more are available for free download at www.foodsafetymonth.com.

Three quick tips include:
1. Wash your hands. There is no substitution for frequent and proper hand-washing when it comes to preventing cross-contamination.
2. Keep foods apart. The most basic way to prevent cross-contamination is to keep raw and ready-to-eat food away from each other during storage and preparation.
3. Beware of cross-contact. Food allergies are a serious issue and require special attention. Prep food for customers with food allergies in separate areas.

All the materials are based on the NRA’s ServSafe® Food Safety program – the leading source of food safety training and certification for the restaurant industry for nearly 40 years, with more than 5 million certifications issued. The NRA launched ServSafe 6th Edition this spring with optimized, recalibrated and focused content created by the industry, for the industry.

Because the ServSafe program is developed by the NRA, rather than a private enterprise, proceeds go toward helping improve the foodservice industry through research and education.

National Food Safety Month 2012 is sponsored by SCA, a global hygiene company and makers of the Tork® brand of away-from-home paper products.