While state requirements differ, this lesson will investigate the foodservice handler requirements and certifications in prime resort areas, like Las Vegas, Miami, and New York City.
General Food Service Requirements
Let's face it. Eating at a restaurant can be risky if non-trained employees handling your food and the restaurant do not have proper planning and training in place to prevent events like cross-contamination of foods, temperature controls, and proper storage techniques.
One way a restaurant manager can avoid mishaps that can make a guest sick is to develop a HACCP Plan, or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Plan. This is a plan that examines the restaurant's handling and processing of food and makes recommendations to avoid risks of contamination and unsafe food handling.
Following the local laws and health department requirements is another way to mitigate risk. Because local health departments set the requirements, we are going to look at three major resort areas to check out the requirements to prepare and serve food in a restaurant.
Positions That May Require Licensing
With all of the staff who comes in contact with your entree, it is important to know which staffers require licensing to handle food. Here's a quick rundown of typical certification types. Later on, we'll discuss the specific requirements for each position in a particular destination.
A Food Protection Manager is qualified after studying and taking a test to be certified to supervise individuals in the food service industry. He or she will learn about basic food safety guidelines, proper temperature controls, sanitation, pest control, preparation and service of food, contaminants, and prevention of foodborne illnesses.
For non-management employees, one may take a Food Handler's Certification. This is a less intensive form of certification training because the food handler will likely work under a Food Protection Manager. The Food Handler's Certification involves mastery of information like food safety, storage, prep, and handling of raw and cooked food concerning temperature control and proper placement on cooler shelves and in the kitchen.
Let's take a look at specific requirements for three popular vacation destinations.
Las Vegas Food Requirements
Everyone dreams of a trip to Las Vegas for the gambling and the mile-long buffets. While you are enjoying the mountains of roast beef and macaroni and cheese, rest assured that the Clark County, Nevada, Health Officials require a chef who prepared your food to go through rigorous requirements to qualify for the job.
Clark County Health Officials requires that restaurant managers hold a Food Protection Manager Certification. The Food Protection Manager must renew his or her certification every five years. In fact, any person involved in handling food must hold a Food Handler's Certification, also renewable every five years.
Miami Food Requirements
When we think about Miami Beach, one of the first things that comes to mind is stone crab, Cuban sandwiches, and tropical drinks. With an impressive 15.5 million visitors yearly, Miami Beach, located in Miami-Dade County, takes its food scene seriously.
Miami-Dade County Health Officials requires that there will be a minimum of one Food Protection Manager per restaurant. The requirement is higher with restaurants that employ four or more people. In the case of a restaurant with more than four employees, a Food Protection Manager must be on each shift. Those employees, who handle food but are not in a management role, must hold a Food Handler's Certification.
New York City Requirements
With 45,681 restaurants and bars in just a 22-square-mile radius, it is no wonder New York City has moderately strict food service worker certification policies. It has an estimated $43.3 billion dollar food and beverage business to protect.
Here's what Health Officials in New York City require. A Food Protection Manager is an absolute necessity, and this manager must renew every five years. Interestingly enough, Food Handler's Certification is only voluntary and not required for employment.
In this lesson, we learned that three of the top vacation destinations hold their food service employees to high standards. In all three destinations, a Food Protection Manager must be present. The Food Protection Manager oversees that basic food safety guidelines are being followed. Also, this person ensures that employees maintain proper temperature controls, sanitation procedures, pest control, preparation and service of food, contaminants, and prevention of foodborne illnesses. Food Protection Managers also learn the basics of implementing an HACCP Plan. This is a plan that examines the restaurant's handling and processing of food to avoid the risk of contamination and other factors.
In two of our destinations, Las Vegas and Miami, employees who prepare, cook, and/or handle food must hold a Food Handler's Certification. In New York City, this is only voluntary and not required. Whether a requirement of the job or not, it is important for restaurant owners or managers to understand the importance of holding certifications for the safety of guests and employees alike.