Friday, February 10, 2012

Food Handlers, Food Safety, and the Restaurant Inspector

In his blog piece “Rapid City Journal (SD) does a decent job covering restaurant inspections,” writer Ben Chapman points out the importance of hiring the right staff with the right stuff to pass mandatory restaurant inspections. The right food safety training and the right food safety culture should be present, he says, to pass muster when the restaurant inspector comes calling.

Chapman cites the case of Rodeway Inn in Rapid City, SD. The food establishment, he reports, apparently failed to make the grade after an inspection in September. The failing score, a 79, was brought on by an accumulation of big and small missteps and omissions topped by the very serious cross-contamination of raw and cooked meats, and unmarked chemical products.

The other miscues included: dirty kitchen shelves and racks, dirty kitchen floors, paper goods containers set directly on the floor, unlabeled bulk sugar bins, uncovered chips on the bar, a meat slicer not cleaned regularly, grease buildup in filters, weeds around the outdoor trash bin, and cover-less bathroom toilet.

Chapman quotes Clark Hepper of the South Dakota Department of Health, who commented: "It has a lot to do with how the facility handles their employee training. Bare hand contact is something you have to constantly think about and be educated about, Cross contamination is more of an educational problem, and hot and cold is an operational thing they're not paying attention to as far as using proper procedures."

The role of food handlers in food safety is critical, not just in passing restaurant in sections but also in preserving public health. At, a full line of online training programs in South Dakota food safety training and South Dakota food handlers permit addresses the important issues of food safety handling storage, food safety management, and food safety processing.
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