TripleTake Q&A with Hal King, PHD

Welcome to the Sani Professional® TripleTake Q&A — 3 questions, 3 answers each — with renowned food safety expert, Hal King, Ph.D. Hal is the founder and CEO of Public Health Innovations LLC, an ideation technology and consulting business, and has previously served as the Director of Food and Product Safety at Chick-fil-A Inc., Chairman of the National Restaurant Association Quality Assurance Executive Study Group, board member of the National Council of Chain Restaurants and the FDA and CDC Industry Partnerships, and President of the Georgia Association for Food Protection, an affiliate of the International Association of Food Protection.

1.  What do you feel are the 3 most critical food safety issues facing the foodservice industry today?
Hal King:
  1. Identifying and excluding sick employees and preventing cross contamination of food when sick employees work.
  2. Restaurants not using Process HACCP food safety management systems to control the top five risk factors that lead to the majority of foodborne disease outbreaks caused by foodservice (achieving Active Managerial Control of these risks). After personal hygiene issues (which lead to the most foodservice associated foodborne disease outbreaks), cross contamination causes a significant number of outbreaks. One contributing factor to cross contamination is raw animal food prep and the misuse of reusable towels to clean and sanitize food contact surfaces.
  3. Safe source of food ingredients – primarily produce because fresh produce does not have a kill step, so safe source is key.
2.  Can you cite three emerging trends you feel will help improve food safety in foodservice?
Hal King:
  1. Restaurants using multiple tools to prevent cross contamination and protect food contact surfaces and thus foods.
  2. Restaurants using Process HACCP to achieve Active Managerial Control of food safety risk.
  3. Produce sanitation to achieve a 5-log kill of the most common pathogens on fresh produce (emerging technologies).

3.  Aside from the food, what are the 3 most important qualities of a restaurant that will keep guests coming back?

Hal King:
  1. Providing a clean environment (tables, chairs and floors) in the dining area (a wholesome environment to eat).
  2. Combining the process of cleaning with customer hospitality (customers care about how you clean) and not using dirty towels, mops, dust pans, etc.
  3. Providing the customer a sense that the business cares about their safety via the restaurant experience.
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