There is a difference between knowing a food handling procedure is safe or unsafe and having a food safety culture. In the latter scenario, food safety is something your team lives and breathes. It flows from the top down, so managers understand and model it for the rest of the team every day, which is critical if staff turnover is high and you have new workers joining you frequently. When there is an inspection on the horizon, an operation with a strong food safety culture doesn’t require a crash course in food safety. When you look at your operation, where do you see room to make adjustments that can model a strong food safety culture on a daily basis for the rest of your team?
Compliance with updated, COVID-19-specific health and safety procedures will be critical for operators in the coming months, not only to protect the safety of your staff and guests but to prepare for unplanned compliance checks by regulatory authorities that are likely coming down the pipeline. This is especially true in states where cases of the virus continue to rise. What systems do you have in place to ensure your new protocols are enforced consistently across shifts and locations? Digital checklists and other automated tools can help take stock of tasks, and regular training will continue to be important. But foundationally, the quality of your relationships with managers and their relationships with staff are critical – if you show you value them, their health and their contributions, they will care about protecting the business. As you adapt your business to its new procedures, also incorporate actions that can help you stay connected with your team.