Food For Thought Newsletter
Active Managerial Control in Action
In order to bring more attention to the food safety management system known as active managerial control (AMC), Fairfax County Health Department introduced its AMC Recognition Program in January. The purpose is to recognize food service operators, owners or other persons in charge who are actively implementing AMC practices to minimize foodborne illness risk factors in their facility.
The key components of active managerial control include: 1) setting policies for food safety; 2) training food service staff on the policies; 3) verifying that the policies are being followed; and 4) having corrective actions in place when the policies are not followed.
During a food facility inspection, the inspector will present —on the spot—a recognition pin to the person in charge if certain criteria are met: 1) a level of food safety knowledge is demonstrated through conversation and questioning by the inspector; 2) there are no critical violations observed during the inspection; and 3) there are intentional, proactive food safety practices in place to minimize foodborne illness risk factors (see the components of active managerial control, above).
To date, three operators have been recognized with the AMC recognition pin:
- Mimi Sharp, Manager – Chevy’s Fresh Mex, 3052 Gatehouse Plaza, Falls Church
- Won Jeong, Manager – Noodles & Company, 12961 Fair Lakes Parkway, Fairfax
- Luis Castillo, Manager – Dunkin Donuts, 9550 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax
Congratulations to these managers for taking the responsibility of reducing the risk factors for foodborne illness seriously! There is no need to wait for the health department inspector to identify problems in the operation– AMC identifies problem areas and also prescribes the corrective actions required.
When asked why it is important to demonstrate active managerial control in a food establishment, Mimi Sharp of Chevy’s Fresh Mex stated, “Quality and safety go hand in hand. We have a huge responsibility…to serve safe, quality food. Monitoring systems that are in place and being followed on a daily basis is a very high priority to me.”
If you are considering adding active managerial control practices to your operation, Won Jeong, from Noodles & Company has some advice: “Get your whole team on it and make it a priority! If you lack the practices, make your own and put it in your training so everyone is trained.”
Luis Castillo from Dunkin Donuts has multiple AMC practices in place, including temperature logs for receiving and cold holding foods, timers and labels used for monitoring hot holding temperatures, a broad use of date-marking of those items with a limited refrigerated shelf life and an extensive employee training program that includes proper handwashing methods, personal hygiene and reporting of symptoms of illness.
Beyond the recognition program, active managerial control has proven to be a useful tool in minimizing foodborne illness risk factors. AMC spreads the responsibility of food safety to employees, not just the manager or person in charge. Refer to the October 2014 edition of Food for Thought newsletter or talk to your inspector for more information on active managerial control.