"What’s high risk anymore in terms of food safety?” said Daniel Coto, vice president of EHA Consulting Group Inc., an environmental and public-health consulting fırm based in Lake Worth, Fla. Diet trends, globalization of the food supply and evolving microbes are creating an ever-changing food-safety climate, and operators must be prepared, Coto said. For instance, unpasteurized-milk trends are driving up the health risks for dairy products, said Coto.
Coto recommends developing strong relationships with regulatory agencies and training employees on the signs and symptoms of foodborne illnesses. But retailers are only as strong as their suppliers. For example, Chipotle’s 2015 salmonella outbreak was likely a vendor issue, rather than from a sick employee or mishandling of product, he said.
“It’s not enough just to make sure you’re not buying from a hot truck in a dark alley,” Coto said. He recommends verifying vendors’ records, requesting proof of certifications and asking about quality-assurance protocols, such as running final product through metal detectors.
“Remember, a third-party audit is only a snapshot of their food-safety protocols,” he said.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention