As week three of National Food Safety Month begins, the National Restaurant Association continues to offer free, downloadable tools and information to restaurateurs on the importance of improving your restaurant’s Food Safety Management System (FSMS)

Every September, the Association takes advantage of National Food Safety Month to help operators reinforce the importance of food safety with their team members in an effort to protect the health of their customers, employees and businesses. The theme for 2019 is “Controlling Risk: The Elements of a Food Safety Management System.” During weeks one and two, we shared information on how to understand the process of an FSMS and how to encourage employees to provide input to managers to help improve their company’s food safety practices and management plan.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Risk Factor Study, an inadequate FSMS is the strongest predictor of noncompliance with food safety regulations. Because technology, equipment and processes always change, it’s vital that employees participate in refining their restaurants’ FSMS.

Here are 5 tips to improve food safety performance:

  1. Know your role: Make sure employees, especially new hires, know their responsibilities regarding food safety. However, reminding long-term staff members also is important, particularly if operations or procedures have changed.
  1. Get training: Determine whether employees need more training to fulfill responsibilities effectively. Additionally, make sure you provide proper resources so they can perform competently and confidently. Consider using our ServSafe program as a start.
  1. Implement procedures: Once a new employee completes training and is confident in performing his or her job duties safely, make sure they check in with you so you can determine they are following proper procedures. If you see staff members performing tasks well, praise them publicly. If you notice problems or inconsistencies, correct the issues immediately.
  1. Monitor and adjust: As employees perform specific safety procedures associated with their daily tasks, have them monitor and document the procesures on the appropriate forms. Then, review the documents to ensure accuracy and compliance.
  1. Report progress: As employees become more proficient in their roles, encourage them to report their progress and give recommendations for improving the FSMS.

Your employees must hold themselves and each other to the highest food-safety standards and practices. It’s everyone’s responsibility.