The Second Annual Food Safety Summit was held on October 15, 2019 at Receptions in Erlanger. Attendees included restaurant owners, retail food employees, and food service directors from schools and long term care facilities, as well as members of the general public.
The goal of the Summit was to instill the principle of, “food safety at every turn,” with all food service establishments. Multiple presentations were developed and delivered by our Environmental Health staff, and the topics focused on new concepts, as well as “old standards.”
The need for food service operators to be proactive on food safety was stressed throughout the day. In addition, there was a briefing regarding the changes to the food code, including in what instances dogs are allowed on a patio of a restaurant. Several presentations were “peppered” with real-life observations or photos of common food safety violations. Examples included photos of a sparkling kitchen or restroom and a few “worst of the worst” observations of priority violations (formerly known as critical violations).
The food safety lab that is part of the food managers’ class was set up for all attendees to experience. The lab has proven to be a great hands-on refresher for food service workers as it touches on date marking, cooling parameters, food storage, and temperature control requirements for food items.
The final item on the agenda was an activity entitled, “What Would You Do?” The audience was given scenarios such as no water, no power, a fire in the kitchen, and sewage overflowing in the kitchen, and was given time to discuss what they would do in each emergency situation. The response actions included closing the restaurant, calling NKY Health, calling a plumber and disinfection.
Interaction throughout the day between the attendees and NKY Health staff demonstrated the goal of the Summit had been achieved – Providing education on what every food service operator should do to reduce food borne illnesses, thereby giving food service operators the information and skills needed to serve safe food in every instance to everyone.
By: RJ Beck, Registered Sanitarian II