Retail Food Owner/Operator Satisfaction Survey and Food Safety Training Manual

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PETER CORREALE
Retail Food Owner/Operator Satisfaction Survey and Food Safety Training Manual
What’s On Your Mind?: 

Morris County Public Health Partnership developed a 'Food Handlers Safety Manual' and satisfaction survey for Risk Type 2 and Type 3 food establishments, which are now used as part of a training and quality improvement process.

They improved their process using three innovative strategies: 1. Soliciting feedback from the food handlers themselves on their satisfaction with the regulatory retail food program in order to make improvements. 2. Data was inserted into Zoomerang and statistically analyzed. 3. The creation of the survey was the collaborative effort from REHS' in four different health departments- shared knowledge and expertise helped create a stronger survey instrument.

PURPOSE OF THE SURVEY:
The purpose of the survey was to improve the quality of the retail food inspections, as well as to decrease the likelihood of transmission of food related illnesses by improving food handlers’ understanding and implementation of proper food handling techniques. The survey was developed to address timing, performance, rules and enforcement.

Key findings:
The most significant finding was that over 50% of the retail food owners/operators were seeking additional food handler/safety classes to be offered for their employees.

Furthermore, team members were also able to identify:
- whether they were performing a quality inspection, and
- whether or not the restaurant owners were acquiring useful knowledge from the inspection process
- that restaurant owners preferred inspections to be conducted at times when the establishment is not busy.

Additional successes:
1. Data from the survey helped to create the 'Food Safety Training Manual' (attached)
2. Systematic distribution of a 'Food Safety Training Manual' and satisfaction survey at all annual restaurant inspections in Morris County to increase knowledge of food handler regulations by restaurant staff
3. Development of an in-class food handlers course, in English and Spanish and an online food handlers course

NOTES FROM THE FIELD:
If you inspect a restaurant during slow business hours, the REHSs can explain the advantages of conducting the inspection during times of food preparation, including the observations of improper food handling techniques, which can be identified and immediately corrected.

Chris Poulsen
Food Safety Training Manual

As the instructor of a basic food handlers training program for the last 25 years at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) and a licensed REHS I found this manual to be an excellent starting point to provide food handlers with a basic understanding of food safety. It is short and to the point and addresses the "nuts and bolts" of the matter. Over the years I have seen the questions change from the foodhandlers that attend the RVCC sessions. I find I am spending more time responding to questions in regards to food allergies and food intolerances and how to respond to patrons concerns. I also appear to spend more time during Q/A on response to product recalls and what to do in the event of potential product tampering threats. In general I seem to also spend more time with the efforts to address the potential for homeland security concerns and often advise food handlers on the importance to ask for identification for cleaning services, delivery services etc. and even local health department representatives if they are not familiar with the person. It would be great to offer some training supplements in these areas. Excellent work!