Food Safe Guru – when food safety doesn’t work

Posted on July 12, 2012 by


I must admit, a slice of pizza now and then is just what I need. It is quick, fast and delicious. I am also picky where I eat my pizza and I like Tripoli in North Andover, MA. Tripoli has a great bakery and awesome breads but the pizza handler left a lot to be desired.

He had a food handling glove on one hand, handled my money with it, made change, and handled my slice of pizza. One could argue that the pizza oven temperature killed any bacteria from the money or the cash register. While my pizza was heating, he handled raw pizza dough, a rolling-pin and then the handle of the spatula to take my pizza out of the oven.

Food Safety laws in Massachusetts are one person per shift with a valid certified food safety manager certificate. That person in charge is supposed to share the learned information with other staff members, so they can practice food safety. Someone at this bakery didn’t get the memo.

I am not saying that practices are any better or worse at the thousands of pizzerias throughout Massachusetts. I just happen to like this place. The one person per shift law has to change. California mandates that anyone who handles food be certified. In Massachusetts, everyone in a food serving capacity has to watch an allergen video for $10.00 and have that certificate. I guess we have to start somewhere.

The cost of a certified food safety certificate isn’t exactly inexpensive but the certifications are for five years. Not having an updated certificate can cost the restaurant their license. You would think that restaurants wouldn’t want to risk the liability of an ill patron. Most do the minimum and just comply.

It is a sad state when restaurants have to be encouraged to go that extra mile and have all food handlers certified. It is an economic burden, however, the customers have to pay the price for workers not following food safety practices.


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Posted in: Family safety