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Running Head: ANALYSIS OF A SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN

Leigh McGuckin
Analysis of a Safety Management Plan
NFS 482/582: Food Production
Fall 2015

Running Head: ANALYSIS OF A SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN

I. Introduction
Having and utilizing a Food Safety Management Plan is one of the most important
criteria to have implemented in a public establishment. There are many specific public
establishments including but not limited to schools, assisted living facilities, child care centers,
medical centers, and restaurants that need a food safety management plan. Serving food to
customers is a primary safety concern that cannot be avoided. It is the responsibility of the
foodservice manager to follow through with food safety procedures to ensure that the employees
and customers are safe at all times. Therefore, it is essential for all food operations to implement
an appropriate safety management program that follows HACCP based procedures. What
indicates that the manager is correctly following a food safety plan? Gregoire (2010) states, A
well-designed food safety program monitors all food production activities for errors in handling
and eliminates these errors (p. 270). Before a manager can effectively implement a safety plan
in their operation, seven critical principles must be considered and reviewed. The seven
principles that must be followed in order include: conducting a hazard analysis, determining
critical points (CCPs), establishing critical limits, establishing monitoring procedures,
establishing corrective actions, establishing verification procedures, and establishing record
keeping, and documentation procedures (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2014). Not only is
it essential to follow these steps closely when planning a HACCP program but there must be
prerequisite programs in place to ensure that the food safety program will be successful.
Examples of such prerequisites may include sanitation standard operating procedures, employee
personal hygiene, safe food-handling and storage practices, temperature monitoring, and etc.
(Gregoire, 2010). Once the prerequisite programs and the seven principles are appropriately met,

Running Head: ANALYSIS OF A SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN

then the manager can implement the safety management plan that thoroughly follows HACCP
based food safety in the operation.
II. Demographics
For this research project, I contacted and conducted an interview with Amanda F.
Strickland, MS, RD, LD. She is the assistant director for the Food and Nutrition Services at
Merit Health Wesley. Merit Health Wesley is a hospital located in Hattiesburg, MS. On the
foodservice side, there is one director, one assistant director, one administrative assistant, four
clinical dietitians, and twenty-three food service workers. The foodservice worker positions
include: meat cook, vegetable cook, baker, cafeteria server, AM/PM supervisor, grill cook, tray
line workers, AM/PM diet office clerk, AM/PM porter, and a cafeteria cashier. There is also a
floor stocker for nourishment deliveries who works three days a week. Each day on average the
hospital provides approximately three hundred patient meals. There is one serving line at the
cafeteria. Serving times at the hospital are at breakfast 7 am-8 am, lunch 11 am-12 pm, and
dinner 4pm-5pm. The operation is inspected quarterly by the local State Department of Health,
and annually by the Mississippi State Department of Health. Also, the Joint Commission inspects
annually for accreditation. The facilities grade during the past year is an A grade.
III. Application of the Food Safety Management Program
The food safety management plan/food policy that is currently being implemented at the
hospital mandates all managers and supervisors to be Serv-Safe certified and quality control
measures are in place to control time/temperature abuse. Also, the supervisors have daily
checklists to monitor all areas of production and equipment. There are many actions or activities
that are used in the hospital facility to prevent, eliminate, and/or reduce safety hazards. It is first

Running Head: ANALYSIS OF A SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN

important to look at the area of unsafe food sources. The Merit Health Wesley hospital is part of
a group purchasing approved by their Corporate Community Health Systems. They are
considered an Entrega account and all food is purchased via Sysco Jackson. To ensure that the
food delivered is safe, the supplier is inspected to meet local, state, and federal laws. This
supplier is the only approved vender used at the hospital. To further handle-out-of-control risk
factors during receiving, a Merit Health employee meets the delivery upon arrival and checks for
accuracy, correct temperatures, and damaged products. If there is a food safety issue with any
product, that food item is rejected at that time if necessary. It is secondly important to look at the
area of inadequate cooking procedures. To validate proper cooking, each cook at Merit Health
Wesley is in-serviced in the department on proper cooking temperatures for each type of food
prepared. Not only are the managers Serv-Safe certified but also each of the cooks at the
hospital. The cooks are provided with a thermometer and instructed on how to accurately
calibrate the thermometer. To prevent any instances of foods being inadequately cooked, the
cooks are required to calibrate the thermometers every morning. Also, the temperatures are taken
and recorded throughout the cooking process. Most importantly, final cooking temperature is
recorded prior to service. Thirdly, it is important to look at improper holding temperatures of
food items being served. The hospital uses control measures to control the temperatures of the
food. All hot food that is being held is either in a warming box where a thermometer is placed
to ensure the proper temperature is being maintained, or it is placed in a hot well for service that
allows for continuous control of the temperature of the food. Fourthly, it is important to look at
the issues of contaminated equipment. Ms. Strickland believes meat production is the area that
has the most possible food safety hazards because the foodservice workers handle the meat food
item in all forms: frozen, thawed, raw-cooked, cooling, storage, and reheating. To prevent

Running Head: ANALYSIS OF A SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN

contamination of food items, each type of food is prepared in a separate designated area. For
example, meat is in the meat area, salad in the salad area, vegetables in the vegetable area,
etc. To ensure the equipment and food production areas are cleaned and sanitized, there are green
buckets in each area with soap for cleaning, and red buckets with sanitizer solution. The cleaning
and sanitation procedure is used after each task completed to guarantee proper sanitation
practices. Another area that can cause food safety hazards is poor personal hygiene. Ms.
Strickland stated that the employees are frequently trained on proper hand washing. Hand
washing stations are set up throughout the kitchen that provides hot water, soap, paper towels,
and a clock to ensure proper timing. Employees are required to wear hair restraints and gloves
are provided to use as a barrier, but do not take the place of hand washing. To keep uniforms
clean, plastic aprons are also provided. If employees report a sore throat with fever, vomiting,
diarrhea, jaundice; they are sent home. Other hygiene concerns are that open wounds must be
covered, jewelry must be worn at a minimum, and nail polish is not permitted.
When asking questions regarding the standard operation procedures (SOP) that are
implemented in the hospital, Ms. Strickland stated that the department has defined policies and
procedure for each area. Employees are in-serviced routinely and are required for computer
based training yearly. She did not know what a standard operation procedure entitled, so it was
hard to receive any information regarding the types of SOPs that could be implemented at the
hospital. Employee training on the policies is heavily enforced, such as the proper procedure for
hand washing and temperature calibration. I would say a hand-washing SOP used by the hospital
would incorporate HACCP principles. Also, there could be an SOP document on properly
recording and monitoring temperatures during all areas of production and service. This
assumption is based on the notion that one of the main critical controls for food safety used by

Running Head: ANALYSIS OF A SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN

the hospital is temperature control. Again, employees are in-serviced by the Director of
Department to follow the correct procedures during all areas of the food operation receiving,
storing, food production, cooling, reheating, and service.
Within the hospital there is a procedure in place to document details of a complaint or
foodborne illness. The foodservice operation would report any complaint to the hospitals
employee health nurse. The nurse would then work with the foodservice side to document the
details. The complaint form is not a physical form, it is an online form that can be found only
internally through the hospitals online charting system. Ms. Strickland stated that if it is an event
involving Hepatitis A, Shigella, E. coli, etc., then the employee health nurse would contact the
State Department of Health by phone. However, in any event, the operation would always
contact the local Lamar county health inspector.
IV. Commendations and Recommendations
While analyzing the safety management plan that is in place at Merit Health Wesley,
there are areas of strengths and weaknesses. The most important strengths in the safety
practices/processes in the hospital are employee education and training, and temperature
monitoring. Having a successful employee training program is essential to reduce unwanted food
safety hazards in food production. One of the easiest ways to contaminate food items is by
having employees with poor personal hygiene. The hospital has strict employee hygiene
procedures that includes proper attire, correct hand-washing methods, and reporting any events
of illness. The employees are continuously in-serviced on personal hygiene. The National
Restaurant Association, Educational Foundation (2006) emphasis the importance of three major
employee personal hygiene components that should be included in any operation. The three
components include maintaining personal cleanliness, wearing proper work attire, and following

Running Head: ANALYSIS OF A SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN

hygienic hand practices. The hospital does incorporate all of these components in their operation.
The second strength that is essential in any foodservice operation is implementing proper
temperature monitoring. The hospital requires that cooks are to calibrate their thermometers each
morning and that throughout the cooking process the temperature must be recorded. This
temperature control procedure follows HACCP principles. To verify this statement, Gregoire
(2010) states, In an HACCP program, temperatures must be monitored and recorded (p. 271).
Merit Healthy Wesley has established that temperature control is an important critical control
point and that by monitoring/recording temperatures is actively lowering the chances of possible
food hazards. These two strengths are within the prerequisite programs that are necessary to have
a successful HACCP program. While the hospital does have strengths in their safety procedures,
there are areas of weakness that may allow for unwanted food hazards.
The first major weakness that is seen in the food safety management plan at the hospital
is a lack of documentation on standard operating procedures (SOPs). While the hospital does
provide procedures and policies to be followed, there does not seem to be any documentation of
the procedures. When asking interview questions on the numbers and types of written SOPs
used in the establishment, there was confusion on what a SOP meant. I was not able to receive
any information on possible SOPs used in the hospital. This issue is a weakness because proper
documentation of procedures followed in an establishment is an essential component in a
HACCP plan. In regards to the importance of SOPs, The National Food Service Management
Institute (2014) states, Foodservice SOPs are written practices and procedures and are the basic
ingredient in producing safe food. It is essential to train employees and emphasize the
importance of following the procedures. To strengthen the safety management plan at the
hospital, written SOPs need to be established. The second weakness that I observed is a lack of

Running Head: ANALYSIS OF A SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN

storage practices. While Ms. Strickland did discuss how the foodservice facility handles avoiding
cross-contamination during food preparation, there was no mention of proper storage practices to
limit food hazards. When addressing proper storage, the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services (2006) states, Your food safety management system should focus on storing food so
that cross-contamination of ready-to-eat food with raw animal food is prevented. The hospital
should have a system where food items are properly stored based on recommended final
temperatures. For example, poultry needs to be cooked at a final temperature of 165 F and that
means it must be stored below any other meats that require a lower final temperature. With
proper storage monitoring in place, the hospital can easily lower the chances of creating possible
food hazards. The final weakness that is significant to highlight is a lack of a pest control
management plan. While the hospital is inspected and does have an A grade for the following
year, it is still important to note that pest control was not mentioned as being part of the food
safety management plan at the hospital. Pest control is included as being an important
prerequisite program that must be considered before developing a HACCP program. Ohio State
University Cooperative Extension Service (n.d.) argues that effective pest control programs
should be in place to ensure the production of safe food products. By incorporating a pest control
management plan at the hospital would help limit possible exposures of food hazards in areas
such as receiving, storage, production, and service.
V. Summary/Conclusions
In conclusion, Merit Health Wesley does have strengths and weaknesses in their food
safety management plan. It is important that a public establishment such as a hospital, adheres to
HACCP guidelines when creating and implementing a food safety management plan. The
hospital has a few great prerequisite programs such as temperature management, employee

Running Head: ANALYSIS OF A SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN

education and training, and personal hygiene. However, the hospital does have areas of weakness
such as a lack of understanding of standard operating procedures (SOPs), lack of proper storage
procedures, and the absence of a pest control management plan. If the hospital revised their
current food safety management plan to improve the areas of weakness, then the areas of
possible food hazards would further decrease. It is never too late to improve food safety in an
establishment.

Running Head: ANALYSIS OF A SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN

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VI. References
Gregoire, M. (2010). Foodservice organizations: A managerial and systems approach (7th ed.).
Boston, MA: Prentice.
National Food Service Management Institute. (2014). HACCP-Based SOPs. Retrieved from
http://sop.nfsmi.org/sop_list.php
National Restaurant Association, Educational Foundation. (2006). Serv Safe Essentials (6th ed.).
Chicago, IL: Author.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2006). Managing food safety: A manual for the
voluntary use of HACCP principles for operators of food service and retail
establishments. Retrieved from
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/HACCP/UCM077
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2014). HACCP principles & application guidelines.
Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/HACCP/ucm2006801.htm
The Ohio State University Cooperative Extension Service. (n.d.). Ensuring safe food A
HACCP based plan for ensuring food safety in retain establishments. Retrieved from
http://ohioline.osu.edu/b901/index.html