5: Management Responsibilities

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If you are reading this book and attending a 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:

  • How does good personal hygiene relate to the prevention of a foodborne disease?
  • What should you do when an employee has a disease or medical condition that may cause a foodborne disease?
  • What symptoms are associated with a foodborne illness?
  • What temperatures are required for hot and cold holding?
  • What types of hazards are associated with the consumption of raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs and fish?
  • What are the cooking temperatures for poultry, hamburgers and steak?
  • How do you cool the chicken stock?
  • How long can you keep the tuna salad in the walk-in refrigerator?
  • Can you give me an example of cross-contamination?
  • Can you describe your procedures to prevent bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods?
  • Why is handwashing important?
  • How often is your equipment repaired and cleaned?
  • Why is it important to have plenty of refrigeration and hot holding equipment that is in good working order?
  • Can you describe your procedures for cleaning and sanitizing?
  • How do you prevent your mop water from contaminating your potable water?
  • Where and how are your chemicals stored?
  • How can failure to meet your critical control points contribute to the transmission of a foodborne illness?
  • What do you do if you cannot meet your Critical Control Points?
  • Why is it important to train your employees?
  • How often do you train your employees?
  • Can you give me an example of when a corrective action must be taken?

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.” Now, go, study, study, study and enjoy the book!

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