Is there Proof of a Food Safety System at the Retail Level?

A Letter from C.E.O. of HACCPCanada       www.haccpcanada.net.

Health Canada has established a set of standards for food safety for the food service industry nationwide. At present the system in place is a government regulatory authority, which basically uses infrequent inspections or snap shots and are very much complaint driven.  On the other end, the customer is allowed to observe only a small slice of these standards, such as the sanitation aspects of the washrooms/dining facilities and the plated food.  These observations are subjective rather than based on objective data. For example, a clean washroom doesn’t necessarily mean sanitized, or a steaming plate of food doesn’t mean the food is safe to eat.

Here are some of the Prerequisite Standards or Critical Control Points

Standards

Assessments

Thermometers Applied?  Calibrated? Logged?
Receiving Approved Source?  Supervised?
Storage Properly Executed?
Refrigeration Correct Temperatures?
Traceability Labeling, Stock Rotation System?
Damaged/Recalled Products Lot Numbers Recorded? Public Informed?
Cooking Safe Temperatures? Safe Handling Procedures?
Hot Holding Safe Temperatures? Equipment Maintained?
Reheating Safe Temperatures? Safe Practices?
Sanitation Written Standard Operating Procedures? Logged?
Employee Healthy? Trained? Following Strict Hygiene Policies?

One Important Question Remains…

Can retail food establishments PROVE they are meeting these standards?

A HACCP-Based Food Safety System will meet the burden of proof through verification and documentation.  However, retail food outlets may or may not have an active HACCP-Based Food Safety System, or even a person in charge to oversee the food safety aspects of the operation.  It is the duty of patrons to determine the extent of the food safety policy in effect (moving from assumption to knowledge) and not just presume that all of the standards are met because the restaurant doors are open for business.  Therefore, the burden of proof falls to the restauranteurs to provide reassurance to their trusting customers by the effective use of these four means:

  1. Consistent Record-Keeping (Logs)
  2. Official Substantiation (Inspection Reports etc.)
  3. Performance (Staff Adherence to Policies)
  4. Observation (Witnessing Procedures)

HACCPCanada Certification offers the unprecedented opportunity to convey to the discerning customer the efforts put forth by the food service industry.  A “Public Awareness Program” is extended to our clients to showcase the distinction of excellence Certification communicates.  Our careful assessments of the food safety systems implemented in the food retail establishments gives patrons the confidence that proactive procedures are in place.  Our dedicated commitment and extreme integrity as a third-party auditor puts the emphasis on a total food safe environment.  HACCPCanada’s assistance in removing any gaps in the standards and employee training provides the retail outlets support in their commitment to Assuring a Confident Dining Experience.


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