FSMA Is Coming: Are You Ready?

This past weekend I was at the local farmers market meeting with local food manufacturers and processors. I wanted to get their take on the new pending federal regulations called FSMA, or Food Safety Modernization Act. What I found was most of them had no idea about the new regulations. It got me wondering if domestic food processors are ready for these new restrictions If you're a food processor or you know someone who is, this overview of the new rules will be helpful. What Is FSMA? FSMA was signed into law by President Obama in 2011 and so far encompasses documents with thousands of pages, but let's try to break it down in the most basic terms. FSMA's goal is to prevent problems that … [Read more...]

Spanish Food Safety Workshops

This past year, Respro started having Spanish food safety workshops. Some would call it a "class," but there are no books, notepads, pencils or tests. It's an honest discussion of food safety topics for Spanish-speaking staff members in restaurants. After a one-hour sit-down discussion, it's common for a tour to be given with the staff and Spanish-speaking food safety professionals in their own restaurant. Open dialogue is had with staff members about their positions, discussing what food safety issues they may be faced with and how to deal with them. Many of our clients have expressed concerns with not having access to enough food safety training materials in Spanish. There are plenty … [Read more...]

Delivery 101: Inspection Tips for Food Safety

One area of food protection and food safety that often gets overlooked is delivery. Food should always be stored properly even when being delivered. All the same protections should be in place such as holding temperature, separating raw from ready-to-eat foods, and using containers that protect the food from insects or rodents. Food is delivered in many ways. Larger organizations have commissaries that produce food and then send it out to other locations using trucks, suppliers deliver large amounts of food to many restaurants all day, and many restaurants deliver meals right to customers' doorsteps. In each of these cases, the deliverer should be taking proper steps to ensure the food is … [Read more...]

Food Safety Report

Food safety stories are always in headlines. Here's information on one with a confirmed outbreak, one with an outbreak but kept anonymous, another banned from serving raw meat, and a restaurant in Wisconsin closed for unsanitary conditions. Margarita's Linked to 200 Norovirus Cases A Michigan restaurant, Margarita's, is suspected in a norovirus outbreak. So far, 200 people who ate at the restaurant have become ill. The Ottowa County Health Department closed the restaurant after confirming the norovirus cases. Health Department Not Disclosing Source of E. coli Outbreak Last April, a restaurant in Orange County, California, was linked to an E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce. … [Read more...]

No Bare Hand Contact Battle Heads to North Carolina

Recently we watched as Oregon restaurant chefs were successful in convincing state officials to opt out of the "no bare hand contact with ready to eat foods" rule from the 2009 FDA Food Code. They cited increased waste from extensive glove use and a disconnection in the food handling process if they aren't able to directly touch food items. Now North Carolina is in the same position. North Carolina has adopted the 2009 Food Code. This means that on September 1 chefs will no longer be able to handle food with bare hands. Just like Oregon, chefs are upset about it. One restaurant owner, Spero Poulos, actually said that he can't tell when mushrooms are bad unless he can feel them. That's a … [Read more...]