If you are taking this course, chances are that you are defined in the Food Code as the “Person In Charge” or PIC. It is important to know that the FDA defines “Person In Charge” to mean the individual present at a food establishment who is responsible for the operation at the time of inspection. Designation of a PIC during all hours of operations ensures the continuous presence of someone who is responsible for monitoring and managing all food establishment operations and who is authorized to take actions to ensure that the Food Code’s objectives are fulfilled. A primary responsibility of the PIC is to make sure the code requirements are being followed.
Based on the risks that come with working with food, the PIC shall demonstrate to the regulatory authority knowledge of foodborne disease prevention, application of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point principles, and any requirements of the FDA Food Code. The ability to show thorough food safety knowledge is referred to as “Demonstration of Knowledge”.
The PIC must be able to “demonstrate knowledge” by complying with the code and having no “priority item” violations meaning violations that are directly associated with a foodborne illness or injury. They must be certified as a food protection manager. Finally, they must be able to respond correctly to food safety questions that are related to their operation such as:
Not being able to demonstrate knowledge in any topic described above is considered a serious violation and may be grounds for revoking your permit to operate a food service establishment. In addition, the PIC, who is the certified Food Protection Manager, must have “supervisory and management responsibility, and [have the] authority to direct and control food preparation and service.”