Thanks to several highly-publicized hospitalizations and deaths from improper food handling, food safety has maintained a large presence in public health for several years. However, in the midst of a global pandemic, food safety guidelines become even more crucial for the health of consumers.

Barbara Castiglia talks to Francine Shaw, the CEO of Savvy Food Safety, about the need for proper food handling guidelines and employee education.

When she first started out in the food industry, Shaw realized that many food service employees were just going through the motions. They weren’t thinking about the reasons behind the actions, and that cost many customers dearly.

“People are more likely to do something if they understand the reasoning behind it,” Shaw said. After seeing a need for thorough employee training and education, she started her own company, Savvy Food Safety, to train and educate companies on these food safety issues.

Industry leaders must take these matters to heart, as today’s consumers are much more aware about food safety. People have greater access to information than ever before, thanks to the rise of the internet and social media.

On top of that, the CDC recently reported a 15% increase in foodborne illnesses. Combine that with a public that is much more careful about what they put in their bodies, and leaders will realize that their customers will accept nothing less than perfect.

COVID-19 has made people even more aware of basic food safety guidelines — even practices as simple as regular hand-washing. In fact, Shaw revealed that she has seen more people washing their hands now than ever before.

Although discussions about food safety have fallen back in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the guidelines have not changed. “These are non-negotiable standards,” stated Shaw.

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