Food Handler Certification
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Food Handler Certification An Overview A. Scott Gilliam, MBA, CFSP Director, Food Protection Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). The Conference for Food Protection (CFP). A non-profit organization that provides input into the formulation of retail food laws in America .

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The Conference for Food Protection (CFP)

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Food Handler CertificationAn OverviewA. Scott Gilliam, MBA, CFSPDirector, Food ProtectionIndiana State Department of Health (ISDH)


The Conference for Food Protection (CFP)

  • Anon-profit organization that provides input into the formulation of retail food laws in America.


Stakeholders Represented in the CFP

  • Regulators

  • Retail Food Industry

  • Academic Institutions

  • Professional Organizations

  • Consumers


Objectives of the CFP

  • Identify retail food safety problems and promote solutions that are based on sound science

  • Promote the uniform interpretation and implementation of regulations governing food safety

  • Work with all stakeholders to disseminate information regarding food safety issues


Standing and Ad Hoc Committees

  • Several committees work between the regular meetings of the Conference to research problems, develop interventions and address various retail food safety issues

    • Example is the Retail Food Manager Certification Committee


Demonstration of Competency

  • The FDA Model Food Coderequires retail food managers to demonstrate competency in food safety including knowledge of the:

    • causes of foodborne illness,

    • factors that contribute to these diseases, and

    • basic food safety measures that can be implemented to prevent foodborne illness


Three Ways to Demonstrate Competency

  • Have a history of high sanitation scores at the establishment

  • Answer questions posed by the inspector, or

  • Pass a CFP “Recognized” Food Protection Manager Certification Examination


ISDH Rule 410 IAC 7-20 -95(Indiana Version of the FDA Competency Provision)

  • Requires Foodborne Illness Prevention Training - Section 95

  • Training must cover the same knowledge areas of competency as the FDA

  • Proven to be problematic


Concerns of the Regulatory Community

  • Agencies lack the skills and resources required to evaluate examinations, certification programs, and credentials

  • Agencies need to be sure that people who hold certificates are deemed to be competent through a valid, reliable and legally defensible process


Concerns of the Retail Food Industry

  • Training and testing must be readily available and at a reasonable cost

  • The lack of standardization across jurisdictions impedes reciprocity

  • Unregulated certification programs may result in meaningless credentials and people who are certified, but who may not be competent


CFP Accreditation Process

  • Intended to assure that certification programs:

    • use only instruments that have been developed according to sound psychometric principles to test managers

    • test managers only on information essential to food safety practices


CFP Accreditation Process

  • Ensures that legal and due process rights are maintained for certified individuals

  • Provides adequate test security

  • Prevents instructors from teaching to the test


Benefits to Regulatory Jurisdictions

  • No need to expend resources to evaluate programs

  • Assured that all accredited programs have met, and continue to meet CFP Standards

  • Uniform national standard for compliance which facilitates reciprocity


Benefits to Providers

  • Ensures that all programs have met minimum quality standards

  • Eliminates the need for certifying agencies to gain acceptanceinhundreds of jurisdictions


Benefits to Candidates

  • Assures that the certificate is based on a valid, reliable, and legally defensible assessment process

  • Allows competitive market forces to benefit candidates (ie., price of exams) without sacrificing examination quality


Benefits to Candidates

  • Allows reciprocity among jurisdictions without having to re-certify

  • Protects a candidate’s due process and legal rights


Benefits to the Consumer

  • Better trained individuals in oversight positions will provide a safer food product and reduce disease spread

  • Will reduce employee turnover thereby minimizing the need for retraining which will translate into better quality service


Senate Bill 404 created Indiana Code 16-42-5.2

  • Created certification in Indiana

  • Mandates that the state develop a rule to administer the program

  • Mandates the state develop penalties for noncompliance


Food Handler Certification (FHC) Rule 410 IAC 7-22

  • Preliminarily adopted on November 13, 2002 by the ISDH Executive Board

  • Became effective June 13, 2003

  • Mirrors state statute with some additions


Provisions of the new FHC rule:

  • Definitions

  • Requirements

  • Penalties


Definitions of the FHC rule:

  • Accreditation

  • Accredited Certification Examination

  • Accrediting Organization (ANSI)

  • Accredited Testing Service


Definitions continued:

  • Certification Document

  • Certified Food Handler

  • Recertification


Requirements:

January 1, 2005 Deadline

One (1) certified food handler per facility

6 months to comply with a change in ownership of an establishment

3 months to comply when the certified food handler leaves employment


Requirements Continued:

Only one (1) certified food handler for facilities located on contiguous property

Person-in-charge present at all times

The certification must be recognized by the CFP (ANSI) or the ISDH


Certification Qualifications:

  • Successfully pass an accredited examination

  • Provide name, certification document and photo identification to regulatory authority upon request

  • Cannot represent themselves as certified unless legally certified


Additional Points:

  • Local Health Departments can not mandate any type of certification other than what is provided in the state law

  • Schools, prisons, jails must also comply

  • Certified person does not need to be present at all times


Exemptions to the law:

  • Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Assisted Living and Continuing Care Facilities

  • Food Establishments that minimally handle food, such as:

    • Serving precooked hot dogs/sausage products, nachos, pretzels, or frozen pizza

    • Preparing/serving continental breakfast


Exemptions continued:

  • Other minimal food operations

    • Preparing beverages or ice

    • Grinding coffee beans

    • Non-potentially hazardous prepackaged foods

    • Heating of bakery products

    • Providing food in its original package


Approved Providers of Exams:

  • Experior Assessments

    • www.experioronline.com

    • 800-624-2736


Approved Providers of Exams:

  • National Registry of Food safetyProfessionals

    • www.nrfsp.com 800-446-0257

  • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

    • www.nraef.org 800-765-2122


Conclusion:

  • Rule is now in effect

  • Certification deadline is January 1, 2005

  • Exemptions will have to be dealt with on a case by case basis, but the ISDH will provide guidance


Questions?www.in.gov/isdh/regsvcs/foodprot/draftrule1.htm


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