According to the Minnesota Food Code, establishments that prepare or process food products must employ one certified food manager. This week, we’d like to explore this rule a little bit and outline which types of businesses require an employee with food manager certification in Minnesota.
How to Know if You Require Food Manager Certification
Nearly every business that prepares and serves food items must employ at least one certified food manager. You need to post your designated food manager’s certificate in a visible location that is readily available should the local health inspector require verification. The Minnesota Food Code allows for exemptions for the following scenarios:
- Satellite locations where you only reheat food for service
- Off-site catering
- Outlets that only serve reheated hot dogs or sausages, pretzels or frozen dinners such as pizza
- Facilities that process raw meats that are intended to be cooked after sold
- Locations that only serve beverages
- Heating bakery items or serving prepackaged products
This list covers the basic types of outlets that may receive an exemption from the rule requiring a certified food manager. For off-site events and satellite locations, the rule requires you to display your certification at the facility where food is initially prepared. We strongly recommend that you contact your local health official for clarification if you are unsure if your business is exempt.
Some types of businesses may or may not earn an exemption depending on what type of food is served. Hotels that serve a continental breakfast fall into this category. If you simply serve pastries and cold cereal, then you probably do not need to employ a full-time certified food manager. However, if you prepare any hot food such as eggs, pancakes or other freshly prepared items, then you need to employ a staff member with the necessary certification.
If none of these exemptions apply to you then you do in fact need a certified food manager on staff. Nearly all restaurants, caterers, institutional food service outlets and businesses that prepare and package food items must ensure that they have an employee that qualifies as a certified food manager in Minnesota. There are some jurisdictions in the state that require a certified food manager present at all times the business is open and running. You should check with your inspector to make sure you are in compliance on this issue.
If you have any questions about food manager certification or any other type of food safety training, feel free to reach out to us for any questions. We offer online and instructor led classes and can tailor sessions to meet your facility’s requirements.