The Importance of Parental and Administrative Involvement in Cafeteria Food Safety
As summer draws to an end, parents and children eagerly anticipate the beginning of the new school year. During this time, it is important for parents and school administration to reevaluate the food safety and quality standards of their school cafeteria.
While it is easy to be complacent about the cafeteria nutrition, it is imperative that school cafeterias be held to high standards for their food safety and quality as they cater to one of the most susceptible and precious sectors of society, our children.
Children are particularly at risk to contract severe food-borne illnesses because of their weaker immune systems. In an effort to clean up casual school cafeteria standards, The United States of Agriculture published The Food-Safe Schools Action Guide in order to better educate and guide school cafeteria administration and their employees on food safety. Many bills have been passed recently in an effort to promote increased precaution for food safety in cafeterias, including The National School Lunch Act and The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. There are many useful resources to help food administration in schools to properly train their employees in safe food handling procedures. StateFoodSafety is a company which provides free food safety training and certification for school and health departments, among many others. It is extremely important for school administration to create a culture of food safety awareness among all kitchen employees. Essentially, schools rely on the individual integrity of their kitchen staff to follow the proper procedures in order to prevent food contamination and illness. The best ways to promote and ensure food safety awareness in your kitchen staff is through education and quarterly school cafeteria inspections, which keeps the staff accountable for their daily practices in the kitchen.
Through the cooperation of parents and administration, schools can promote food safety awareness in these ways, which protects your children from food-borne illnesses, allowing them to have a happy and healthy school year.