Issue View | Council II | 2016 Biennial Meeting
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Issue Number: Council II 028
This is a brand new Issue.
Committee to Explore Technology Solutions for Implementing CFP Guidance
Issue you would like the Conference to consider
Retail food establishments are at risk for emergencies or disasters that could endanger the safety of the food and products sold to consumers. To assist these establishments in managing such crises, the CFP developed "The Emergency Action Plan for Retail Food Establishments" (document available on the CFP website at www.foodprotect.org/media/guide/Emergency%20Action%20Plan%20for%20Retail%20food%20Est.pdf). This document offers guidance to retail food stores and food service establishments, including very large and very small entities, as to the steps necessary to protect the public's health when circumstances affect food safety.
Safety guidance can only be effective if its existence is known and its recommendations are properly executed. Retail food establishments must not only train their employees, but such training has to prepare them to react appropriately in a crisis. Barring such training, or in cases where the fully trained employee is absent, individuals responding to a crisis must have committed the guidance to memory or be able to read, understand, and implement the guidance (if it is even readily available) during high pressure situations.
Requiring or recommending that food establishments post or maintain paper copies of safety guidance is a solution for the past. Technology is available, or can be easily developed, to assist employees with implementing the guidance at the time of the crisis with little or no training, allowing them to respond to changing circumstances under stressful conditions without relying on prior training or printed safety manuals.
Public Health Significance
Food service employees come from every demographic category and educational background. Many employees are minors, some are new to the workforce, and experience levels can vary greatly among establishments. The workforce continues to become increasingly tech savvy, and the effectiveness of safety guidance should not depend so heavily upon traditional teaching methods that are skewed toward those with greater maturity, education, or experience. Well designed, simple to use technology that brings the solution to the employee can help level the playing field.
For example, in-car navigation systems are very common and freely available on smart phones to provide drivers with turn-by-turn directions for even the most complicated journeys. The majority of Americans today own smart phones. On demand, step-by-step instructions, much like GPS navigation, that help guide food service employees through a crisis would greatly increase the consistency of responses in the event they are activated. This, in turn, would enhance public safety by ensuring that safety guidance like the CFP's "Emergency Action Plan for Retail Food Establishments" is followed properly.
As things stand today, the utility of CFP's guidance, and therefore the public safety benefits of this guidance, is limited to those circumstances where food service employees are effectively trained as to their implementation or aware of their existence. Technology available at an employee's fingertips to guide them through the proper procedures in a time of crisis would greatly enhance public safety.
Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...
that a technology committee be formed and charged to:
1. Make recommendations to the Conference for Food Protection in regard to:
(a) exploring technology solutions to assist food service employees to more effectively implement the 2014 Conference for Food Protection "Emergency Action Plan for Retail Food Establishments, Second Edition" and any other existing or future safety guidance provided by the CFP as deemed appropriate; and
(b) determine potential revisions to CFP's guidance, recommending technology solutions or adopting standards for the use of such solutions.
2. Report Committee recommendations to the 2018 Conference for Food Protection Biennial Meeting.
Submitter Information 1
106 West Boston Street
Seattle, WA 98119
Submitter Information 2
6725 Miami Avenue, Suite 100
Cincinnati, OH 45243