The winter months bring with them a significant amount of downtime for food industry professionals. Some outlets use this time for maintenance projects, menu overhauls, kitchen upgrades or performing deep-cleaning tasks. These efforts go a long way to making your facility better, but we also feel that downtime can be used to update and review food safety training.
Food Safety Training During Slow Business Hours
Most food production facilities should keep food safety training materials on-site for reference or training new employees. The slow weeks at the beginning of the year offer a perfect opportunity for reviewing these materials and making sure that are up to date and reflect the current Minnesota Food Code.
This time of year also grants you the time to allow your staff review these procedures while at work and on the clock. Allocating training time while your staff is on the job will motivate them to actually review the material. If you assign homework to your kitchen staff and ask them to review training materials off of the clock, they may not be motivated to take their review seriously. Granting them access to the materials at work and allow them to get paid for their efforts will ensure that they see that you take their time seriously.
After you and your staff review food safety protocols, it may be a good idea to perform a self-inspection in your kitchen. Involve the entire staff in this process. Different employees have different responsibilities, and they may have ideas that can make your kitchen a safer place. Your line cooks may see aspects of the production line that you don’t see every day and your wait staff can help inspect the front of the house and inform you of any potential hazards they may see.
At Safe Food Training, we feel that involving your entire staff in this review and self-inspection process results in keeping your product as safe as it can be. Do you have any other unique procedures during the slow months of the year?