Safe Food Crew

State: WI Type: Model Practice Year: 2005

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The Safe Food Crew program was developed with the assistance of a $50,000 FDA Innovative Food Safety Grant. It is a program that provides 15 food safety modules to restaurant operators so they can train their own staff in-house. A public recognition component for those who meet the requirements adds to the value of the program.

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Public Health - Madison and Dane County
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Safe Food Crew
The Safe Food Crew program was developed with the assistance of a $50,000 FDA Innovative Food Safety Grant. It is a program that provides 15 food safety modules to restaurant operators so they can train their own staff in-house. A public recognition component for those who meet the requirements adds to the value of the program.
This project was developed with the assistance of a $50,000 FDA Innovative Food Safety Grant. It is a program that provides 15 food safety modules to restaurant operators so they can train their own staff in-house. A public recognition component for those who meet the requirements adds to the value of the program.
Agency Community RolesMadison Department of Public Health (MDPH) conceived the idea and all health inspectors participated in the development and writing of the modules and training guide material. The Safe Food Advisory Committee(a sub-committee of the Public Health Commission consisting of 9 food industry representatives) advised us on all aspects of this project and helped us make many changes and improvements to result in the final product. Other restaurants participated in field trial evaluations which resulted in more improvements. The local media was invited to a press conference at one of the restaurants and all major media have done stories on the new program. We have received very positive feedback from all who have tried the training modules.  Costs and ExpendituresAlthough the program was developed with a grant it is sustainable. All training material may be downloaded from the web. MDPH will update the web material annually or at time of code changes, which will be very minimal cost to us and no cost to others using the material. There is a small $2.00 per decal cost for establishments who successfully complete the training. Additionally there is some tracking that needs to be done by clerical staff as establishments send their paperwork in. This too, is minimal. Estimated cost is between $1000 to $2000 per year for a program that will significantly increase the number of food handlers exposed to safe food training. Implementation Trainers must read the trainer's guide or attend one of our free train-the-trainer sessions. Each module consists of an overview, a presentation, talking points, a hands-on demonstration, fact sheets for posting, "Tales from the Kitchen" (real-life stories related to the topic, review questions and resource material. The operators need to select at least 5 of the 15 modules, provide training to at least 5 or 10% of their staff (whichever number is greater)and do this within a 12-month period. Operators must provide documentation of the trainings to us. Successful operators will receive a Safe Food Crew 2005 decal for posting. Media press releases will be on-going to get the attention of the public.
Our primary evaluation method has been to watch the managers providing the training and observe the success of the trainer in keeping the attention of the employees as well as the discussions that were stimulated by the training. When we saw industry trainers struggeling, we went back and reworked the areas that seemed difficult for them. Additionally we have collected survey forms from the trainers to get their feedback on how things went. We know that currently no similar food safety training is being done in any establishment-- this is unique and aimed at the level of the average food handler. We are grateful to the FDA for providing resources for a need we have had for a long time. The resources invested in this program have definitely been worth it. The program was released in November. To date, 132 establishments have requested hard copies of the program, 33 operators attended our first train-the-trainer`s class, we have had hundreds of downloads from our web site, and 4 establishments have already completed enough trainings to receive recognition. Industry really likes this program. We are achieving our goals at a rate higher than we had hoped for. More community publicity will add to the visibility of the program.
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