The Food Safety Assessment Meeting
Purpose of the Food Safety Assessment Meeting:
In 2014, about 9% of initial grading inspections following release of the health permit resulted in a downgrade or a closure due to conditions which could result in foodborne illness. The Southern Nevada Health District is working to enhance the food safety message throughout the permitting process, in an effort to ensure that all operators receiving permits are knowledgeable about preventing foodborne illness in their facilities prior to beginning operation.
The Food Safety Assessment Meeting provides a forum for prospective restaurant operators to demonstrate their food safety knowledge prior to issuance of their permit.
When is a Food Safety Assessment Meeting required?
- Prior to scheduling a final permitting inspection for a new food facility, if the operator did not demonstrate adequate food safety knowledge during the initial design assessment meeting, or if a person knowledgeable about the food operation was not able to attend the initial design assessment meeting
- Prior to a change-of-ownership permitting inspection at the operators request, or
- Following a failed change-of-ownership meeting due to excessive operational violations or other demonstration of insufficient food safety knowledge
Who must attend the Food Safety Assessment Meeting?
The permit holder, chef, manager and/or other persons with operational knowledge of the facility must attend this meeting. Operators meet with their permitting inspector as well as their assigned routine health inspector.
What should the restaurant operator bring to a Food Safety Assessment Meeting?
The restaurant operator must bring a current menu to the meeting. They may also want to bring any written operational plans, training documents, or monitoring logs used in the facility. Southern Nevada Health District staff will provide floor plans or photographs of the facility as needed.
How can a restaurant operator prepare for a Food Safety Assessment Meeting?
Restaurant operators should make sure they, or a designated Person-in-Charge who will attend the meeting, have a current Food Handler Safety Training Card. The Food Establishment Resource Library contains all the information which will be discussed at the meeting, as well as training materials and temperature logs which can be downloaded for free. Finally, it is recommended that operators review Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Regulations for the Sanitation of Food Establishments prior to the meeting.
What happens during a Food Safety Assessment Meeting?
The discussion is guided by a Food Establishment Questionnaire which will be completed during the meeting. The menu and facility equipment layout will be used to identify risk factors that need to be controlled during daily operations. The restaurant operator will be encouraged to explain their plans for training employees, monitoring food safety, and verifying that the controls they have put in place work.
What happens after the Food Safety Assessment Meeting?
If the restaurant operator demonstrates sufficient food safety knowledge, the permitting inspection is scheduled. If the operator does not demonstrate adequate control of risk factors in their facility they must either:
- study the Southern Nevada Health District’s Regulations Governing the Sanitation of Food Establishments, review training information provided on the Food Establishment Resource Library or otherwise obtain the requisite knowledge, then schedule an additional Food Safety Assessment Meeting or
- hire a person with food safety certification from a recognized certifying agency, then schedule an additional Food Safety Assessment Meeting
The final permitting inspection cannot be scheduled until the operator demonstrates active managerial control over the foodborne illness risk factors identified in his/her facility.
How to schedule a Food Safety Assessment Meeting:
If you have been instructed to schedule a Food Safety Assessment Meeting by your permitting inspector, call 702-759-1258. Be sure to have your inspector’s name, the facility name and associated permit number handy.
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Updated on: September 9, 2020