from: Food Safety Focus

It’s National Food Safety Month, and throughout September, we’re sharing resources and information aimed at helping you improve your food safety practices.

This year’s theme is “Controlling Risk: The Elements of a Food Safety Management System” and on week three we’re highlighting how important it is for everyone to take part in refining and improving your restaurant’s Food Safety Management System (FSMS).

In case you missed our blogs from week one and week two, a Food Safety Management System, or FSMS, is a system that restaurants can use to ensure that food is safe to eat. FSMS is a not legal requirement but is a tool you can use to ensure employees follow safe food handling practice.

Having a FSMS is important because the FDA Risk Factor Study discovered that an inadequate food safety management system is the strongest predictor of non-compliance with food safety regulations.

When restaurant employees hold themselves – and each other – to the highest standards of food safety education and food safety practices, the restaurant thrives. Employees can feel proud of their A+ rating, and their four-star ratings in online reviews. Foodservice technology, equipment, and processes are always changing, so it’s vital that each and every employee takes part in refining FSMS processes.

Refine the Process

Your restaurant’s FSMS should always be evolving with the business. Food safety is everyone’s responsibility. Make sure you encourage your employees to provide input that can help you develop more effective performance standards within the FSMS. Are you or your staff short on knowledge somewhere? Take additional training to improve your skills and performance.

Talk with your employees about these simple ways to improve performance – and food safety.

How to Improve Performance

Know your role

Is the employee in a new role? Make sure they know their responsibilities when it comes to food safety. Even long-time employees may need reminders, especially if your operation has updated or changed procedures.

Get training

Does the employee need more training to fulfill their responsibilities effectively? Give them the resources they need to perform competently and confidently. ServSafe Food Handler training is a good start.

Implement procedures

Once a new employee is trained and confident of their job capabilities, ensure they check in with you to be sure they’re following proper procedures. If you see someone doing a process well, praise them publicly. If they are having difficulties, correct the issue before it gets worse.

Monitor and adjust

As employees go through their daily tasks, have them monitor the specific procedures of their roles and document on the appropriate forms. Review their document to ensure accuracy and compliance.

Report progress

As employees become more proficient in their roles, encourage them to report their progress and give you any recommendations they might have for improving your FSMS.

Refining the Food Safety Management System is everyone’s job. For a helpful reminder on these points, download this week’s infographic, poster, and activity sheet to share with your staff.