Why training may be blocking progress
Our world of restaurant food safety is blessed with a cadre of good trainers and creative programs. This has been true for at least the last decade as more technology now leverages the messaging.
Successful? How do we measure success? The trainer infuses knowledge, technique and “training session motivation”. Many use our language free video covering The Why, The When and The How for handwashing. http://www.handwashingforlife.com/catalog/why-when-how-foodservice-video-file-download Are safe-level standards being met?
Adding Measurement Technologies
When Handwashing For Life installs counters in soap dispensers or deploys more sophisticated technologies to measure compliance, we consistently find handwashing rates at about 30-50% of what the operator considers safe. When Quality Assurance and Food Safety staff encounters these documented low numbers, they enlist Training to schedule added sessions. This results in a temporary upward blip and the operation soon returns to its previous equilibrium. The organization is satisfied that they have done everything. What they have really done is reach the limits of training.
Handwashing compliance technologies can now accurately identify the level of your compliance. Does it matchup with your menu, your at-risk customer component? Does it matchup with your insurance and tolerance for risk?
Programs to enhance handwashing must start with an assessment of risk so that the solution is risk based, not Food Code based. http://www.handwashingforlife.com/handsonsystem. Operations must agree, commit and declare the standards on which staff will be rewarded or disciplined.
The Org Chart Solution
Where is Training best slotted in the organizational chart? Reporting to Food Safety or Quality Assurance who set the standards? Handwashing For Life recommends you consider having Training report to Operations. The standards come from QA/Food Safety. Meeting the standards is an accountability of Operations, not QA. Operations must be committed to delivering the agreed handwashing standard.
From our limited database, Quick-Serve Restaurants, Retail and Fast Casual operations are generally satisfied with one handwash per employee hour (1 HW/EH). Some go as high as 3. Casual dining looks for anywhere from 1 – 3 HW/EH.
Having Operations explain the Why behind professional handwashing and then declaring the standard will do more for raising handwashing compliance than years of training. Once standards are in place, consider initiating a Day One program.