PERFORMANCE COMPETENCIES OF A PERSON
WHO VALIDATES / CERTIFIES
RETAIL FOOD OPERATIONS AS CAPABLE OF SERVING SAFE FOOD
by O. Peter Snyder, Jr., Ph.D.
Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management
670 Transfer Road, Suite 21A
St. Paul, MN  55114
 

PURPOSE: The purpose of these guidelines is to identify the minimum competencies of a person, whether he/she is a regulator or not, who certifies to owners of retail food systems that their systems are capable of preparing and serving / selling food that will not make the consumer ill, or cause injury, disease or death, but will in fact nourish the wellness of the consumer.

INTRODUCTION: An important element of the long-term continuous improvement of the retail food industry is to establish competencies of those individuals who validate / certify retail food operations as capable of serving / selling safe food. Without standards at this point, there is no assurance of safety.

PERFORMANCE COMPETENCIES: The following is a list of the competencies required. They are extracted from the information in the references to the appendix. These references are the most appropriate ones currently available on this subject. It is intended that these competencies will next be used as the basis for an international certification examination, so that people who wish, can get proper recognition for their professional capabilities.

HOW TO USE THESE PERFORMANCE COMPETENCIES GUIDELINES: When a person is being selected to certify that the processes in a retail food system are capable of zero liability costs (no foodborne illnesses, injuries, and deaths), he/she can be evaluated using this list to assure that he/she will correctly perform a quality-assured analysis.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT TO THESE GUIDELINES: These guidelines are subject to continuous quality improvement. Suggestions should be sent to the editor, Dr. O. Peter Snyder, at the above address. All suggestions should have appropriate references to the improved information so that they can be quickly reviewed and incorporated when better facts are discovered.



The unit's food safety plan must be evaluated by a person or persons who possess the following competencies.

 Knowledge of the Overall Foodborne Illness Problem
1. Be able to list types of consumer foodborne illnesses, diseases, and injuries and fraud that are demonstrated problems.
2. Be able to draw a systems chart of the retail food system.
3. Describe the steps in the process of doing a dose response of a group of consumers.
4. Discuss the current laws governing food safety in the United States.
5. Discuss how the current number of illnesses and death are currently estimated in the United States.
6. Discuss the economic cost of foodborne disease.
7. Discuss the U.S. program for the prevention of foodborne disease.

Retail Food System Risk Analysis
1. Must be able to:

a. Research data necessary to review a HACCP plan for a specific food operation.
b. Identify potential hazards. Describe the natural levels and contamination levels of microorganisms, chemicals, and hard foreign objects in the supplies and how they are determined.
c. Assign levels of severity and risk to the hazards. Describe the levels / size of the hazards at which they become dangerous (M) to the operation's consumers, and how it is determined. Some examples of hazards include: Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Clostridium botulinum, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella dysenteriae, Hepatitis A virus, MSG, Yellow #5, nitrate / nitrite, sulfate / sulfite, bone chips, etc.
d. Test and certify process control criteria as adequate.
e. Test and certify monitoring and verification procedures as adequate.
f. Recommend the disposition of product when production standards are not met.
g. Calculate the stability of a HACCP program and the risk of failure.
2. Be able to perform the chemistry necessary to measure the hazardous chemicals in food such as nitrate, nitrite, MSG, pesticides, etc.
3. Be able to determine if food is within accepted defect action levels.
4. Be able to calculate the nutritional profile of a menu item to certify that it meets nutritional claims.
5. Discuss the chemistry of allergic reactions and list the predominant foods that cause life threatening reactions.

Unit Hazard Analysis
1. Must know and then provide correct hazard identification and control information to the operator so that the operator has the capability of achieving zero food liability cost.
2. Be able to demonstrate in a commercial kitchen, any recommended food process hazard control procedure and scientifically prove it is effective. Must be able to discuss PV (pasteurization values), SV (sanitation values) and GV (growth values), show how to collect the data to calculate each, and how to calculate each.
3. Be able to analyze a food system and identify the hazard control strengths and weaknesses of its management, personnel, environment, facilities, equipment, supplies, processes, and consumer components.
4. Be able to specify or estimate the output of the system, the immune levels of the consumer, the tolerance levels of the consumer to illness, disease, injury, probable consumer food abuse, and possible sabotage.
5. Be able to analyze a process, including how to use equipment, that will convert the ingredient input to a safe output (reduce the hazards to a safe level) for less than 5-day or more than 5-day holding.

6. Be able to flow diagram the seven basic food processes and then analyze a process to assure safety, productivity, and quality.
7. Be able to review a HACCP-based quality assured recipe based on a flow analysis. Describe adequate process controls for food processes such as: 8. Be able to review and certify a program for the cleaning, maintenance, and calibration of equipment to keep it functioning safely.

Unit Self-Control HACCP Program Certification
1. Be able to analyze the contents of a unit policies, procedures, and standards operations, training, and improvement manual and certify that when the manual is used, the unit will be capable of future, stable, predicable performance.

a. Management.
b. Personnel.
c. Environment.
d. Facilities.
e. Equipment.
f. Supplies.
g. Food production.
h. Consumer.
 
2. Be able to evaluate the HACCP-TQM management plan for self-control first, and then look for evidence that it is being followed and is effective during a walk-around audit of the facility. The six basic components of the management control program are:
  a. Management leadership, supervisory coaching, and employee commitment and responsibility for consistent performance.
b. Hazard analysis and control.
c. Written policies, procedures, and standards.
d. Organization communication and training.
e. Operation, coaching / reinforcement, enforcement and recording.
f. Incident investigation and root cause removal.
g. Continuous performance improvement.
 
3. Validate the self control program.

 

Education Needed by a Retail Food Process Safety Certifier
 
Discipline
Knowledge needed in HACCP for understanding of:
Chemistry 
Inorganic 
Organic I & II 
Biochemistry 
Food Chemistry 
  

Chemical structures; reactive nature of elements and compounds; isolation techniques for elements and compounds as related to toxins and poisons, food additives; and functional properties of food components in relation to their roles as parts of complex biochemical systems and as modified by environmental and processing conditions. 

Engineering 
Mechanical Engineering 
  
Principles of engineering as related to the design of mechanical systenms used for the production, processing, and storage of food. 
Architectural Engineering Principles of structural design used for buildings or areas housing food production, processing, and storage facilities. 
Environmental Engineering Principles of design and mechanical systems necessary for maintaining the environment (toxic waste disposal, sewage disposal, water treatment systems).  
Computer Process Control Use of computer technology in the production, processing, and storage of food. 
II. 
Biology 
General Biology 
  

Fundamental concepts of biology (growth of living organisms). 

General Microbiology 
Food Microbiology  
Growth and control of microorganisms in food, water, and the environment; microorganisms affecting the health of individuals and the community; use of cleaning and disinfecting compounds in food production and service areas. 
Plant Biology  Fundamental concepts of plant physiology and development; plant-water relationships; classification and differences among fungi, algae, bryophytes, and vascular plants; plant-animal interactions; ecosystems ecology.  
Animal Biology Fundamental concepts of animal physiology, reproduction, development, and diversity; interactions between animals and the environment.  
Human Anatomy and Physiology  Fundamental concepts of the gross and microscopic structure of the human body; function of cells, organs, and vascular systems. 
Human Nutrition  Physiological function and metabolic fate of lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals and their involvement in fulfilling requirements of the human body for maintenance, growth, and work.   
Agriculture 
Horticulture 
  
Fundamental concepts used for the production of plant products used for food. 
Animal Science Fundamental concepts used for the production of ruminants (beef and dairy animals, sheep), porcine species, and poultry; products and animal by-products; effect on ecosystem. 
Entomology Fundamental concepts involved in pest management as related to insects, diversity and classification of insects; effect of insects on plants, animals, and the environment; methods of control.  
Food Cooking / Processing / Technology 
Meat and Poultry  
Fish and Shellfish  
Vegetables and Fruits  
Fats and Oils  
Milk and Dairy Products  
Confectionery Items  
Bakery Items  
Sauces and Gravies  
Ethnic Foods (international recipes)  
Sensory Evaluation of Food  
Nutrient Retention / Loss  
  
Basic understanding of the composition of foods; food commodities as affected by harvesting, growing, production, processing, storage, consumption, and disposal. Production of quality foods as defined by optimal safety, sensory characteristics, and nutrient content.  
Production of ethnic foods for a variety of tastes and cultures. 
Understanding of laws that apply to the production, labeling, safety, and service of food in the United States and throughout the world.  
National, state, and local government agencies involved in regulating the sale and service of food products.
Management 
Principles of Management
   
Fundamental management techniques, processes, and skills required for successful business operations. 
Leadership (philosophy and ethics) Leadership techniques, skills, and ethics used in working with various people in different organizations, businesses, and environments. 
Basic Accounting Fundamental principles of accounting (assembling of financial data, providing and projecting financial information) as it relates to businesses and government. 
Statistics I and II Fundamentals of experimental design, analysis of variance, regression, and statistical tests. 
Business Law and Regulations Ethical, economic, social, and political perspectives of the legal environment; constitutional law; administrative regulation; torts and product liability; contracts; employee labor laws. 
National and International Business Associations Fundamental principles and guidelines of organizations such as Codex, National Research Council, ISO 9000, etc. 
Education Program Development Principles of needs analysis; establishing performance objective; delivering instruction and managing instructional design. 
Food Law and Regulations
 
  References
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  2. American Society for Quality Control, Chemical and Process Industries Division, Chemical Interest Committee. 1987. Quality Assurance for the Chemical and Process Industries. A Manual of Good Practices. ASQC Quality Press. Milwaukee, WI.
  3. Banwart, G.J. 1983. Basic Food Microbiology. AVI Publishing Co., Inc. Westport, CT.
  4. Benenson, A.S., editor. 1990. Control of Communicable Diseases in Man. Fifteen Edition. American Public Health Association. Washington, D.C.
  5. Brown, M.H., editor. 1982 Meat Microbiology. Applied Science Publishers, Ltd. Essex, England.
  6. Center for Chemical Process Safety of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. 1990. Plant Guidelines for Technical Management of Chemical Process Safety. American Inst. of Chemical Engineers. New York, NY.
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  30. Troller, J.A. 1983. Sanitation in Food Processing. Academic Press Inc. New York, NY.
  31. Vanderzant, C., and Splittstoesser, D.E., editors. 1992. Compedium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods. Third Edition. American Public Health Association. Washington, D.C.
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