There’s an old adage in hospitality: making customers sick is bad for repeat business.

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These days, with social media spreading stories like wildfire and the press monitoring social media, it could mean you’ll lose not just repeat business, but all business. Google ‘restaurant food poisoning news’ and you’ll see just how bad it can get, and how long some of the ‘news’ sticks around. That’s why top of mind for everyone working with or around food should be food safety.

But if there’s one subject where myths abound, this is it. Hopefully all your staff has heard of the three second rule, and they all know it’s no rule at all. Cooked or ready-to-eat food dropped on the floor or other unclean surfaces is not safe to eat or use, full stop.

A standard sets the bar for food safety training. Food safety unit standards have been in place for many years, and most local councils require some or all staff working with food to have been trained to meet Standard 167. Now, there is a new food safety standard as well.

The older Standard 167 is at NZQA Level 2, while the new Standard (27955) is at Level 3, because it includes more knowledge and greater evidence requirements. Standard 27955 will be the mandatory standard in the New Zealand cookery apprenticeship and new qualifications in cookery and restaurant service, as well as quick service restaurants, and catering. However, there is no need for qualified workers to retrain in the new standard.

The previous level two standard (Standard 167) meets the requirements for acceptable food safety training and it remains fit for purpose. Standard 167 is widely-held in the industry and anyone holding this standard is still qualified in food safety.

ServiceIQ has prepared a Q&A sheet on both food safety standards, confirming Standard 167’s continued validity and its relationship with Standard 27955.

To see the Q&A sheet, go to: serviceiq.org.nz/about-serviceiq/news-and-updates/food-safety/

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