November 4, 2012 1 Comment
An email washed up on the beach today from Brian from my old hometown in Arkansas, with a really good question.
Brian asks, since his state does not require Food Protection Manager certification, why they should bother getting it?
Many states have not yet required Food Protection Manager certification, in fact there are only a handful that do require it right now, but that doesn’t mean that every foodservice operation doesn’t need it.
One of my restaurants is in Arkansas, so I am very familiar with the regulations there, and am very familiar with dealing with the Arkansas State Board of Health.
The current Arkansas regulations from the Board of Health regarding this are shown below:
Based on the RISKS inherent to the FOOD operation, during inspections and upon request the PERSON IN CHARGE shall demonstrate to the REGULATORY AUTHORITY knowledge of foodborne disease prevention, application of the HAZARD Analysis CRITICAL CONTROL POINT principles, and the requirements of this Regulation. The PERSON IN CHARGE at the time of inspection shall demonstrate this knowledge by:
(A) Complying with this Regulation by having no violations of CRITICAL ITEMS (Priority Items) during the current inspection;
(B) Being a certified FOOD protection manager who has shown proficiency of required information through passing a test that is part of an ACCREDITED PROGRAM; or
(C) Responding correctly to the inspector’s questions as they relate to the specific FOOD operation. The areas of knowledge include:
(1) Describing the relationship between the prevention of foodborne disease and the personal hygiene of a FOOD EMPLOYEE;
(2) Explaining the responsibility of the PERSON IN CHARGE for preventing the transmission of foodborne disease by a FOOD EMPLOYEE who has a disease or medical condition that may cause foodborne disease;
(3) Describing the symptoms associated with the diseases that are transmissible through FOOD;
(4) Explaining the significance of the relationship between maintaining the time and temperature of POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FOOD (TIME/TEMPERATURE CONTROL FOR SAFETY FOOD) and the prevention of foodborne illness;
(5) Explaining the HAZARDS involved in the consumption of raw or undercooked MEAT, POULTRY, EGGS, and FISH;
(6) Stating the required FOOD temperatures and times for safe cooking of POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FOOD (TIME/TEMPERATURE CONTROL FOR SAFETY FOOD) including MEAT, POULTRY, EGGS, and FISH;
(7) Stating the required temperatures and times for the safe refrigerated storage, hot holding, cooling, and reheating of POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FOOD (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food);
(8) Describing the relationship between the prevention of foodborne illness and the management and control of the following:
(a) Cross contamination,
(b) Hand contact with READY-TO-EAT FOODS,
(c) Handwashing, and
(d) Maintaining the RETAIL FOOD ESTABLISHMENT in a clean condition and in good repair;
(9) Describing FOODS identified as MAJOR FOOD ALLERGENS and the symptoms that a MAJOR FOOD ALLERGEN could cause in a sensitive individual who has an allergic reaction.
(10) Explaining the relationship between FOOD safety and providing EQUIPMENT that is:
(a) Sufficient in number and capacity, and
(b) Properly designed, constructed, located, installed, operated, maintained, and cleaned;
(11) Explaining correct procedures for cleaning and SANITIZING UTENSILS and FOOD-CONTACT SURFACES of EQUIPMENT;
(12) Identifying the source of water used and measures taken to ensure that it remains protected from contamination such as providing protection from backflow and precluding the creation of cross connections;
(13) Identifying POISONOUS OR TOXIC MATERIALS in the RETAIL FOOD ESTABLISHMENT and the procedures necessary to ensure that they are safely stored, dispensed, used, and disposed of according to THESE RULES AND REGULATIONS;
(14) Identifying CRITICAL CONTROL POINTS in the operation from purchasing through sale or service that when not controlled may contribute to the transmission of foodborne illness and explaining steps taken to ensure that the points are controlled in accordance with the requirements of this Regulation;
(15) Explaining the details of how the PERSON IN CHARGE and FOOD EMPLOYEES comply with the HACCP PLAN if a plan is required by the LAW, this Regulation, or an agreement between the REGULATORY AUTHORITY and the FOOD ESTABLISHMENT;
(16) Explaining the responsibilities, rights, and authorities assigned by this Regulation to the:
(a) FOOD EMPLOYEE,
(b) PERSON IN CHARGE, and
(c) REGULATORY AUTHORITY.
(17) Explaining how the PERSON IN CHARGE and FOOD EMPLOYEES comply with reporting responsibilities and EXCLUSION or RESTRICTION of FOOD EMPLOYEES.
2-102.20 Food Protection Manager Certification.
A PERSON IN CHARGE who demonstrates knowledge by being a FOOD protection manager that is certified by a FOOD protection manager certification program that is evaluated and listed by a Conference for Food Protection-recognized accrediting agency as conforming to the Conference for Food Protection Standards for Accreditation of Food Protection Manager Certification Programs is deemed to comply with Subpart 2-102.11(B).
Arkansas requires that a person in charge of a food establishment demonstrate knowledge of food safety as outlined in the FDA Food Code. Taking an approved Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) Training Course and passing a certification exam is one way to demonstrate this knowledge, or you could just stand there for an hour answering all of their questions laid out in the above regulations until they are satisfied that you are knowledgeable enough in food safety for that individual inspectors needs. Wouldn’t it be much easier to just show them your certification?
Another reason to have the Food Protection manager certification relates to your wallet. Last year the 2011 Update to the 2009 FDA Food Code was released. In it was a new requirement for every food establishment to have at least one Certified Food Protection Manager employed in a management and supervisory capacity:
§2-102.12, Certified Food Protection Manager, to require that at least one food establishment employee with management and supervisory responsibility be a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM). (CFP Issue 2010-II-021)
- 2011 Supplement to the 2009 FDA Food Code
What does this mean to you? Since the Food Code are recommendations and not regulations, absolutely nothing. That is until you happen to have a foodborne illness outbreak at your establishment, then it could mean everything.
Attorneys that specialize in foodborne illness outbreak lawsuits that I have spoken with absolutely love this new addition to the Food Code. It means that if a food establishment does not follow the recommendation from the FDA by having the CFPM employed in a management and supervisory capacity, they can sue your establishment for even more in damages when there is an outbreak.
When a foodborne illness outbreak case goes to trial, the plaintiff’s attorneys will more than likely try to show that you did not do everything that you could to prevent the outbreak. Even though you knew that the FDA Food Code required the CFPM, you chose to ignore this, and the outbreak is the result of your failing to head the recommendations of the FDA. They can show that you knew about this new requirement in the FDA Food Code because the FDA Food Code itself states that it is the responsibility of every food establishment owner to be familiar with the Food Code. Ignorance does not help in this situation.
So basically even though your particular state does not require the Certified Food Protection Manager certification, having it is like having an extra insurance policy. It helps you by making your inspections go more smoothly, and it helps to keep more money in your wallet by helping in your defense in the event of a foodborne illness outbreak lawsuit.
Even though it may not be required in your state, having it is just good business sense.
As always, if you have a question or need advice relating to food safety, or food establishments, let me know. You can click on the button at the top right, or send me an email to RC.Anderson@HawaiiFoodserviceAcademy.com