August 24, 2023

National Food Safety Month Delves into the ‘Why’ of Common Food Safety Practices

Weekly topics break down some of the most important food safety processes to help all employees understand the whys and hows of safe food handling
Chicago – Every day in neighborhood restaurants, staffers are employing essential food safety skills to cook and cool foods to proper temperatures, clean and sanitize their workspaces and wash their hands, while managers run checklists to prepare for an health inspection. These are all food safety skills learned and honed over time with good training and practice.

“Sometimes, we can forget the ‘why’ behind the actions we take every day to ensure a safe dining experience. So, this year, we’re helping the workforce at every level brush up on how to execute world- class food safety and why each of these best practices is important,” said Sherman Brown, executive vice president of Business Services for the National Restaurant Association. “For more than 30 years, ServSafe has been the leader in preparing foodservice workers to deliver safe dining experiences for their guests, while also keeping themselves safe. NFSM is a good time to remind food handlers not just of the best practices but the science behind why we do them.”

This year for National Food Safety Month (NFSM), ServSafe® is cracking the code on the time-tested, science-based skills that help prevent foodborne illnesses. Between August 21 and October 2, the experts at ServSafe will curate free training and education content including e-books, checklists, posters, and infographics that are digestible, sharable, and easy to put into practice. This year’s essential topics include:
  • Cracking the code on time and temperature – The importance of time and temperature control in thawing, preparing, cooking and holding foods can’t be understated. This week is all about why different food have different cooking temperatures and how to track and maintain the information.  
  • Cracking the code on personal hygiene – Washing hands, keeping clean, wearing clean clothes, covering hair—sanitary habits cut down on the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Cracking the code on health inspections – Nerves hit high-gear when the health inspector is due. The best way to ease unease is to understand what and why the health inspector will focus on certain things, and have a checklist for how make sure everyone is ready for their visit.
  • Understanding the latest food safety regulations – Every state sets its rules and regulations for food safety (most often based on the Food Code). Get up to date on the latest changes to the Food Code and find out how your local municipality is implementing the changes.
  • Building a culture of food safety – It takes focus and teamwork to build a culture of food safety. Rely on all the resources presented this month to tie all food safety best practices together for your teams. Engage and remind everyone of why your operation is committed to food safety every day.
NFSM, recognized each September, was created in 1994 by the National Restaurant Association to heighten awareness about the importance of food safety education. The 2023 NFSM is sponsored by Tork, an Essity Brand, and Ecolab.

To join the NFSM conversation using the hashtag #NFSM2023. Follow ServSafe on Facebook and Twitter for the latest resources. For more information, visit

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.5 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.