The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year 48 million people in the U.S. get sick from a foodborne illness. One way food establishments can protect their food is through voluntary Certified Food Manager (CFM) training, which supports proper food safety practices and decreases government health inspection violations. A new study by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health looked at the use of two interventions — CFM training and paid third-party food safety inspections — and found they are associated with reduced violations cited in official health inspections.
“Our results support recent recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration encouraging the use of CFMs,” said the study’s lead author and doctoral graduate, Dr. Xarviera Appling. “However, our findings also suggest greater complexity in the characteristics of food safety management, which include the role of third-party inspectors and whether the person in charge was the CFM of record.”
The study, which Dr. Appling conducted both as a student and while working as a city health inspector, was published in the Journal of Food Protection.
The study specifically reviewed if the food establishment’s CFM of record (CFMR) was present during the health inspection, whether the person-in-charge (PIC), such as the manager, was a certified CFM, and whether the establishment used a third-party inspector to audit food safety policies and practices.
The results showed: