ComplianceMate Blog

Food Safety Minute : How to Manage a Food Safety Crisis

When it comes to a Food Safety Crisis, it's not if but when it will impact your establishment







Kevin Scott from ComplianceMate discusses crisis management in the Food Service Industry.
With all the potential hazards in a restaurant, and the addition of COVID, it’s more important than ever to have a crisis management and recovery plan in place. 

Some of the most common crises that need advance planning:
- Power Outages
- Refrigeration FailuresFood Safety Minute-1
- Fires
- Water Supply Problems
- Floods/Sewage Backups
- Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
- COVID/Coronavirus

In order to prepare for an outbreak, it’s critical to develop a preparedness plan. There are multiple resources available to help you get your plan in place, for example, the National Restaurant Association has a great repository to get you started.   You should also check with your state restaurant/hospitality association for resources that are specific to your jurisdiction. Once a plan is created, it’s critical to have a leadership team in place to manage and communicate the plan. Every employee needs to understand, even the most basic guidelines, such as who talks to the media, who speaks to authorities, and what mitigation efforts need to be met. The most critical action during a crisis is to decide how to correct the problem. 

That may be things as simple as:
- Establishing time-temperature control
- Cleaning and sanitize surfaces
- Reestablishing physical security of the facility
- Verifying water is drinkable
- Understanding and executing COVID19 specific cleaning and personnel requirements
- Work closely with your local health authority in the process to re-open your establishment .  You will need their approval to do so. 
- In addition, communication becomes even more important during a crisis. You may get inquiries from the media, employees, and health authorities. 


Therefore, it’s essential to:  
- Communicate well internally and external
- Work cooperatively with health authorities
- Have someone that understands how to manage Media (news, social, etc.)
- Stick to the plan!

ComplianceMate can help!

With the ComplianceMate checklist module and enterprise food safety management system, crisis management plans can be preloaded onto the phones and tablets of all relevant employees, and then turned on remotely when a crisis occurs.  In addition, the refrigeration IoT sensors can help alert you of potential crises before they actually occur, saving much needed time, money and resources.