TripleTake Q&A with Chirag Bhatt

Welcome to the Sani Professional® TripleTake Q&A — 3 questions, 3 answers each — with retail food safety expert, Chirag Bhatt. Chirag has over 35 years of experience in food safety working with regulatory , technology providers, restaurant chains, and distributors and in his current role serves as Director of Food Safety and QA. Chirag is a Registered Sanitarian with the state of Texas, and holds Certified Comprehensive Food Safety (CCFS) credentials. He has been actively involved in national trade associations including serving on boards for the National Restaurant Association, National Environmental Health Association, International Association of Food Protection, and more. He currently serves on the Sani Professional Food Safety Advisory Council.

With the high turnover experienced in the C-store industry, what are three ways management can help ensure employees consistently meet food safety standards?
Chirag Bhatt:
  1. First, make sure that all hourly team members receive accredited food handler training. This should be done before they start working with food/beverages even though most regulatory agencies may allow 30-90 days grace period.
  2. The management team must monitor and use the “teach and coach” approach when one is observed to deviate from safe food safety procedures. Using a threatening approach will not last very long.
  3. Refresher training, daily huddle meetings, team gatherings and acknowledging a top performer can make hourly team members feel better and encourage coworkers.
2.  When evaluating food safety and sanitation products for your convenience stores, what are the three most important criteria in making your recommendations?
Chirag Bhatt:
  1. Practical usability
  2. Cost
  3. Demand and Supply
3.  Can you cite three emerging trends you feel will help improve food safety in retail and convenience settings?
Chirag Bhatt:
  1. IoT – Digital tools and related software
  2. Online learning and training
  3. Simplified, more effective cleaning and sanitation solutions
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