Here is one thing that you never want to read from a health inspector if you are operating a long-term care community: “At the time of my inspection, the lack of adequate food safety controls related to F812 exposed your vulnerable residents to a risk of food poisoning.” The inspector then goes on to list your failures: Failure to properly disinfect utensils following breakdown of dish machine; failure to adequately clean work surfaces to avoid the risk of E coli and other bacteria; failure to keep proper food hygiene records. And the news only gets worse. Those failures will be reflected in the form of a one star health inspection rating that has a 3 year impact on your 5-star quality rating. That’s the rating that baby boomers will be scrutinizing when they are deciding in which nursing home they want to live.
Let’s face it. Food safety has rocketed to the forefront of long-term care dining services. With new requirements for training workers in food safety and the impact of health inspections on your 5-star quality rating, it’s a no-brainer that you need a plan to prevent citations related to F812 and you need it now. Since the scope of the regulation is so broad, F812 has a major impact everywhere in the community.
It Starts with Having Policies and Guidelines for Food Safety
Having the right documents and training programs in place to guide new and current care providers and to train them on such safety issues as bringing in food from outside sources, serving food safely, food preparation and handling, sanitation and infection control and much more. Having an informed and educated staff as well as policy and procedures regarding food safety can prevent citations from happening by putting everyone on the same page. For example, if everyone knows how to safely disinfect utensils when the dish machine goes down and does so consistently, the chances of getting a citation drop to practically nil. If they are trained to properly clean work surfaces and do so consistently, citations will be no more. If they have the forms and know-how to properly document hygiene records, citations will not be a problem. In short, when it comes to successfully achieving a 5-Star quality rating, having a plan in place that features consistent documentation, effective training and adequate monitoring to make sure the plan is working is a surefire way to improve your ratings and increase your business.
To get you started, we would like to give you a free copy of our Food from Outside Sources Customizable Policy Guide.