Date of Conferral
Restaurant managers complete certification in food safety in order to ensure that food is handled and prepared in a manner that decreases risk factors associated with food-borne illness. However, the literature has been inconclusive concerning the connection between manager certification and the incidence of critical food-safety violations. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship between the presence or absence of a certified food safety manager (CFSM) and the number of risk factors cited on food inspection reports and the food safety score. In addition, this study was designed to determine whether operation type (i.e., chain vs. independently owned) has an impact on the number of risk factors and food safety score. This study was an analysis of 2013 data from 1,547 restaurants in North, Central, and South Georgia health districts using a 2-tailed independent-sample t test. Restaurants with a CFSM had significantly more risk factors cited on food safety inspections and lower food safety scores than restaurants without a CFSM. There was also a significant difference among chain and independent restaurants. Chain restaurants had fewer risk factors cited on restaurant inspections and had higher food safety scores. In the epidemiological triangle model, breaking the chain of transmission disrupts the link among agent, host, and environment. Thus, CFSMs have the responsibility to implement food safety training programs to break the chain of transmission by identifying and correcting unsafe food practices among food workers. This study has the potential to assist managers in understanding the importance of food safety and implementing food safety training programs that decrease risk factors associated with food-borne illness. Further research is needed to explore the effectiveness of manager certification in reducing critical violations.