What is a Food Safety Consultant and Why Does Your Restaurant Need One
As a restaurant owner, you need to abide by many food safety standards. This is where a food safety consultant comes in. Here’s why you need one.
Do you run a restaurant or a business with a kitchen? Does it feel overwhelming when you think about all the balls you juggle every day?
Most of the time, a kitchen manager handles everything from kitchen food safety to personnel changes and sometimes the dining room, too. If you feel stretched thin, read this article to find the help you need.
Below, we’ll tell you all about what a food safety consultant is and why you need one. When you’re ready to make the leap, use our quick tips for choosing a consultant that’s right for your kitchen.
What Is a Food Safety Consultant?
Food safety consultants give you confidence that your kitchen complies with all regulations. They are an outside pair of eyes to keep you and your kitchen staff on track.
Protecting your customers from getting sick is of the utmost importance. With guidelines that change all the time, having someone else around to work alongside you on this project is a must.
Why Does Your Restaurant Need One?
You may think that everyone knows how to follow basic safety rules like wearing gloves or avoiding cross contamination. But sanitizing daily and checking storage temperatures isn’t everyone’s first priority.
In fact, some employees choose not to read the instructions or cut corners to speed things up. This can lead to failed inspections, or worse, sick clientele.
While you want to have speedy service, you also need to avoid these problems. When you hire a consultant, it’s a lot easier to meet both goals.
Here are three big reasons your restaurant needs a food safety consultant.
There are regulations to follow in any kitchen. No matter which food safety management system you follow, you want to maintain your certifications. Here are some standard food safety certifications:
- BRC certification (most popular) – British Retail Consortium
- SQF from Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
- FSSC 22000 also from GFSI
You have to follow many guidelines for legal compliance and certification. Staying on top of everything requires a lot of meticulous list-keeping.
If that’s not you, a food safety consultant can help you stay in compliance. Let someone else make the lists and double check them. Having another person on your team to keep track of the nit-picky items is an asset you can’t afford to work without.
When you hire a food safety consultant, did you know you hire extra support? They are they to help organize and manage the system, but they also give advice.
The support an independent consultant gives is invaluable. Your consultant should be able to help with anything from kitchen emergencies to encouragement and recommendations.
While it’s hard to quantify this type of help, the results you see from its implementation won’t be nebulous.
The regulations for these and other organizations or laws change often. It’s hard to keep up with all the requirements.
A food safety consultant keeps up with all the guidelines and assesses your specific needs. They’ll help you change processes or procedures when the rule changes, so that you don’t miss a beat.
You can achieve compliance with the help of a consultant, even with ceaseless updates to the regulations.
How to Choose a Food Safety Consultant
That’s great, you’re convinced that a consultant is important for your restaurant. But if you want to hire one, where do you start?
How do you know that the one you’ve picked out is the right fit for your business? Here are a few questions to ask to make sure you’ve made the best decision.
Do They Have Outside Resources?
Food safety consultants should have access to outside resources because of the field they’re in. Even if they don’t know the answer to a question you have, they should be able to find it within their network of experts and colleagues.
Are They Too Cheap?
Don’t rule out an expensive consultant. Most often, you get what you pay for, and having to pay a little more for quality service is worth it.
Ask all the questions before you go with someone who charges less than their competitors. There’s doubtless a reason they can’t charge the same prices as other consultants you looked at.
Trust your instincts, and triple check before you hire the cheapest option.
Do They Understand the Regulations?
Choosing someone who has memorized the rules won’t help you if they don’t understand them. You need a consultant who has experience applying the rules to the real world.
Being able to recite the rulebook doesn’t mean they can interpret it. Food safety consultants are like the judges in the courtrooms of the kitchen. Instead of quoting it, they have to be able to interpret the law.
Ask your prospective consultant if they have experience in the kitchen. If not, give them some real-life scenarios you have encountered in your own kitchen to respond to. This way you can make sure they know how to handle a difficult situation.
Abiding By Safety Standards
Keeping up with regulations doesn’t have to be a headache you’re used to. A food safety consultant can help you be compliant, keep up with changes, and find the extra support you need.
To choose a consultant, ask some basic questions about their experience, resources, and pricing. Soon your restaurant will be a slick machine, and you will be able to focus on other aspects of the kitchen.
With over 20 years of expertise, TCI can help you achieve these goals. For more about food safety management systems developed around your needs, select a consultant package on our website.