Food safety training tools, tips

Operators share resources and ideas they’ve used to ensure food safety is a top priority in their operations.

We asked operators to give us some of their training tools and resources they use to ensure proper food safety in their operations. Here are some of their answers, excluding the usual programs like ServSafe. 

  • We use internal audits and mock health inspections. These are done every semester. In addition, these are done by hourly staff to increase awareness.
  • We trained all of our staff on ServSafe procedures and it has helped. We do a quality performance review monthly and they are given a bonus if the team scores above 90, so there is incentive to follow proper procedures.
  • We are currently looking at a program called Safeschools training/Utica training (safeschools.com).
  • We actually created a video-based system, with print manuals, that trains volunteers in food safety. We have sold these to centers and nonprofits across the USA. It is called Serve Food Safely: A Volunteer Training System.
  • Since we no longer have in-service days built into our school calendar, I have implemented a one page "grab-and-go" training lesson. The lessons used this school year were: proper hand washing, safe lifting, 10 tips to help pass your health inspection and proper cold holding temperatures. The lesson is sent to the cafeteria managers and they print the lesson for staff to review. As the staff member sreview the lesson, they sign the training roster provided along with the lesson. Upon completion, the roster is returned to my office for filing.
  • Recommend a "fresh eyes" review and have another foodservice director observe your operation to see things you may not otherwise notice to improve food safety.
  • RD411.com has training tools. 
  • One employee a month is responsible for sharing a hand washing idea.  We have watched videos, played games, come up with posters etc.
  • I use Safe Food Crew (publichealthmdc.com/environmental/sfc/foodSafety.html).
  • I tell all of my employees to feel free to "throw me under the bus." This lets them tell one another, "Don't let the boss see you doing that, she won't like it.” This is an easy way for them to keep each other in check. For example, if a student employee sees another worker not changing their gloves, they will say that and not feel like they are telling the other worker what to do. It is more of an, “I'm just looking out for you” statement.
  • Fightbac.org.
  • Conduct daily walkthroughs to find at least three violations. The findings become harder and less serious as time goes on. Reward staff for perfect day.