ServSafe and Points of Contamination in the Food Production Chain

Good food safety training must happen at every step of food production, and sometimes that means knowing where food comes from and where potential points of contamination exist. ServSafe procedures need to be adhered to at nearly every point in production, and that includes points before ingredients are prepared for service.

ServSafe and Food Production
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ServSafe and Food Production

While most MN certified ServSafe managers concern themselves with the food safety procedures at their own facility, we feel that it’s important to understand where the risks of contamination exist every step of the food production process. Knowing where your potential food contamination can occur helps you be more vigilant in keeping the food you serve safe. We’ve identified the key places where food can come into contact with bacteria:

  • Initial Production
  • Distribution
  • Preparation
  • Point of Sale

Most major foodborne illness outbreaks occur due to contamination during the initial production, raising or growing of food ingredients. These locations include ranches, farms, fisheries, greenhouses and other specialized facilities where base ingredients are produced. Since this step has one of the highest risks of contamination, ServSafe food managers need to pay attention to food production news concerning produce and meat FDA recalls. Production facilities can also include operations where raw ingredients are canned, frozen or packaged before distribution.

Distribution points are the locations where your food is stored and transported between production and your facility. Points of potential contamination include shipping vehicles, warehouses and other means of transporting ingredients from one location to another. ServSafe managers should inspect items before receipt to check for any signs of damage or contamination.

Preparation is one step that local ServSafe food managers do have control over. This happens in your facility. Make sure that your staff has been fully trained on proper preparation techniques and how to prevent foodborne illnesses.

The point of sale is the final point of potential contamination in the ServSafe food production chain before your product ends up in your customers’ hands or on their table. Sick front-of-the-house staff can pass germs on to guests and undated, improperly packaged and poorly refrigerated grab-and-go items can cause illness due to spoilage or cross-contamination. Make sure that staff members who handle or serve food after preparation are well versed in good food safety habits.

Do you take into account everywhere your ingredients have been when considering food safety training?

For over 20 years Safe Food Training has been known as the # 1 provider of food manager certification in Minnesota. We offer both instructor lead and on-line food safety certification courses. Our instructor lead courses are regularly scheduled at several central Minnesota locations. If you have special training requirements, we can even customize ServSafe training for your group. Which ever option is best for you, we would be happy to serve your needs.

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