The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to see stepped up efforts to improve food safety practices in retail food establishments, specifically pointing to the need for the presence of certified food safety managers to oversee safety practices. FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor says it is quite clear that having a certified food protection manager on the job makes a difference. Many in the retail industry employ them voluntarily as a matter of good practice and Taylor says FDA thinks it should become common practice.
A component of a 10-year study released by FDA, the 2009 retail food report, found the presence of a certified food protection manager in four facility types was correlated with statistically significant higher compliance levels with food safety practices and behaviors than in facilities lacking a certified manager. For instance, compliance in full service restaurants was 70% with a manager, versus 58% without a manager.
More than 3,000 state, local and tribal agencies have primary responsibility to regulate the more than one million food establishments in the United States. FDA assists the regulatory agencies and the retail industry through the Food Code, which contains prevention-oriented and science-based food safety guidance, training, program evaluation and technical assistance.