By: Joan Rector McGlockton Date: 9/21/12
Note: Food safety is a shared responsibility across the food supply. This Food Safety Education Month, the IFIC Foundation is featuring guest blog posts from the various entities that work to keep our food supply safe—Consumers, Farmers/Producers, Retailers/Food Service and the Government.
America’s restaurants serve 130 million customers each day, making the restaurant industry a critical component of the food safety universe. The industry has a long-standing commitment to food safety as there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our guests.
While the National Restaurant Association (NRA) launched its National Food Safety Month campaign 18 years ago to highlight the importance of food safety training in the foodservice industry, we recognize that food safety is a shared responsibility and shared throughout the entire food chain, from farms, manufacturers, processors and distributors, to the end-user - consumers.
The NRA is actively engaged to ensure practices are in place to help ensure a safe food supply. For example, we supported recent food safety legislation (the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act) and continue to educate our industry about enhancements to the food safety system that focus on prevention, such as additional hazard analysis and increased product inspections. We believe these changes will improve the safety of the food purchased by restaurant operators. We also collaborate on traceability initiatives, including the GS1 US Foodservice Initiative, and hold an ongoing dialog within our industry regarding best practices. Recently, our board chair toured farms and processing plants to experience first-hand food safety practices implemented in the supply chain.
We are also the source of the ServSafe® Food Safety program – the leading source of food safety training and certification for restaurant and foodservice industry professionals for nearly 40 years, with more than 5 million certifications issued. Because ServSafe is developed by the NRA, proceeds go toward helping improve the foodservice industry through research and education.
National Food Safety Month highlights components of ServSafe and provides free training materials for restaurant employees that can be completed in 10-minute sessions to complement formal food safety training.
This year, we’re also offering information for consumers because food safety is equally important in the home kitchen or for a backyard bar-b-que.
Learn more about what YOU can do to keep your food safe when backyard grilling:
Because food safety is a shared responsibility, it’s important that we all follow the food safety steps! While restaurants professionally train their employees, consumers are often left to their own devices when it comes to finding reliable food safety information – and even if they say they possess such information, they don’t always follow best practices.
As vice president of industry affairs and food policy for the National Restaurant Association, Joan Rector McGlockton leads the NRA’s food regulatory advocacy efforts.The NRA is the leading business association for the U.S. restaurant industry, which will post sales of $623 billion this year in almost one million locations with nearly 13 million employees.