As National Food Safety Month ends, week 4 is focused on ways to keep employees engaged in maintaining their commitment to following and maintaining the highest food-safety standards.

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Each year, the National Restaurant Association uses National Food Safety Month to help operators reinforce the importance of food safety with team members in an effort to protect the health of their customers, employees and businesses. This year’s theme 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. For week three, we offered tips and tools on how to improve your restaurant’s Food Safety Management System.

For week four, we are emphasizing the importance of effective food-safety management, and that it is an ongoing process. As equipment, supplies and menu items change encourage your employees to not only monitor their practices, but also take corrective action when needed.

Here are four tips on how to maintain high food-safety standards at your restaurant:

  1. Stay focused. Encourage employees to maintain excellence during their daily duties. It is important to emphasize that their commitment is the key to making food safety work for everyone.
  2. Monitor area of influence. Remind employees to observe all activities within their area of influence to ensure food prep and handling meet your specifications. If they don’t, those observations should be brought to your attention.
  3. Stay vigilant. If employees discover food safety issues or challenges with a new ingredient, delivery system or procedure, encourage them to report those observations to you.
  4. Record and communicate findings. Employees should properly log all activities, food temperatures and times where required. Ensuring employee performance protocols are met is essential to good food safety practice.

When you protect guests from foodborne illness, you protect your business. It is vital that every employee stays committed to food safety ‑‑ every hour, every shift, every day.