Its the Demonstration of Knowledge
"How long should you wash your hands?"
"What's the difference between a clean surface and a sanitized surface?"
"What is the Danger Zone?"
If they haven't started already, these are some of the questions Health Inspectors are going to ask your employees. And they are asking the questions from everyone.
It's called Demonstration of Knowledge and it's supposed to be one of the main reasons the Calif. Food Handler Program was implemented in the first place. To demonstrate to anyone an employee's knowledge of food safety.
The debate over what has been accomplished since the initiation of the Calif. Food Handler Card rages on. One side believes nothing has been accomplished except the lining of the pockets of the bureaucrats and the test developers.
The other side tells us it's too soon to tell.
I am leaning to the side that feels, so far, very little has been accomplished.
Let me tell you why.
First, nine out of the ten organizations who contact us to retrain and re test their people, do so even after their people took the training and test on line. Why? Because their people did not learn anything. As far as these managers and owners are concerned it's no different than traffic school on line. People are only interested in passing a test.
Secondly, I happened to be in an Olive Garden the other day completing a third party audit when a health inspector walked in ready to perform her customary food safety inspection.
We exchanged pleasantries, talked business, and she then started her inspection. Nothing unusual. I've seen it many times before and thought nothing of it. But then I saw her do something I hadn't seen before. She took one of the hostesses aside and asked her a question.
Swiping the surface of a table with her open hand she asked, "what is the difference between a clean surface and a sanitized surface."
The reaction from the hostess was surprising.
She froze and was visibly shaken. She either did not know, or didn't know how to answer the question.
The inspector, seeing the reaction, began to explain and to give the answer.
After it was over the inspector walked away making notes.
The first question that came to mind was, why should a host or hostess need to know the difference between a clean surface and a sanitized surface? The answer is that the health dept. wants every employee to know the difference because it demonstrates their knowledge of food safety.
The second question that I had, what was the inspector writing down? We don't know but I have an opinion.
The health dept is taking notes because they will need ammunition to support the implementation of deducting points for lack of knowledge. This is too good an opportunity to pass up by the health dept. Look for it to happen in a year to two years of testing. And that's where the rubber hits the road.
They will be holding your feet to the fire.
So what is the Answer.
How can you protect yourself and your business?
How can you have peace of mind that you are compliant with food safety regulations?
Only when your employees see that you are serious and place food safety as a top priority, will you see a change. If the health dept. is holding your feet to the fire, it's only good business to hold your employee's feet to the fire.
The Demonstration of Knowledge is an important part of food safety.
And a Food Safety Assessment Program is the best place to start.
VISIT THE FOOD SAFETY ASSESSMENT SECTION OF THIS WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION
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