Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series. Part two, which will appear in our December/January issue, will focus on the targets for pathogen and spoilage microbes in the food contact zones.
Since the first model was implemented back in 1993, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Code has continued to evolve. Each version of the Food Code has developed a more refined and seamless fabric of programs based on good manufacturing practices (GMP) and hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) that are consistent with GMP regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations.
The FDA estimates that 96% of states have adopted a version of the Food Code.1 The current version, enacted in 2005, has been adopted by nine states/territories. The 2005 version is now being incorporated into the highly successful ServSafe program, conducted by the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The Conference for Food Protection is the basis for Food Code review, with the NRA and all private and public stakeholders fully engaged in the code process.
The Food Code encompasses all the key segments of food service and food retail operations, from management and personnel through compliance and enforcement. Using the Food Code as a foundation, this article will address critical sanitation issues commonly found in food service operations.
Keep Microbes Far from Targets
Many food safety experts and knowledgeable sanitarians view prerequisite program controls as a multi-barrier system akin to a dartboard or archery board. Zone one—the bull’s eye—is the food contact zone. All hygiene control programs must prevent pathogens and spoilage microbes from compromising this critical zone.