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How would you deal with a Salmonella outbreak? Food safety training

How would you deal with a Salmonella outbreak? Food safety training

A spate of recent food safety lapses have highlighted the need for restaurant managers to renew their food safety training and make doubly sure that staff working on their premises are trained or retrained. This is not only to increase customer safety but also to demonstrate compliance and effort made in the event of a food safety problem, which can mitigate financial penalties.

In Colorado this week, a burrito restaurant was forced to close after ten customers were sickened by salmonella poisoning, including a child who was hospitalized. It transpired that the burrito restaurant had racked up 22 red violations since 2015. These are violations “more likely than other violations to contribute to food contamination or illness.” Dead mice behind coolers, flies in the kitchen, a lack of hand soap, incorrect storage temperatures for milk and orange juice and employees drinking beverages around unprepared food were on the list.

In Missouri, a case of hepatitis A was confirmed in a restaurant food handler. Customers are now being advised to talk to their doctors about symptoms and possible post-exposure treatment. It was not the first time it had happened at the company. At another restaurant in New York State, an employee exposed customers to the Hep A virus by handling their food whilst infected. Customers included many elderly people for whom the disease could be fatal, and authorities were not alerted until after the two-week treatment window had passed. That leaves a lot of people who ate at the restaurant wondering whether they are going to develop the disease – it has an incubation period of 14-28 days.

When a crisis like this strikes, management needs to respond correctly to minimise both public health risk and damage to their own reputation and finances. Food Manager training covers the correct responses to such events, as well as procedures for minimizing the risk of them occurring in the first place. Anyone managing a team of food handlers is responsible for ensuring that everyone is trained and up to date with current legislation and food safety news.

State-specific Food Manager training for the ANSI-CFP (American National Standard Institute – Conference for Food Protection) exam is available online – sign up here and protect your establishment’s future.