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Developing a Food Safety Plan for a Long Term Care Facility: A Consultant's Perspective

What is a Food Safety Plan and why would it be beneficial?

Background Content You are a fresh, new graduate of one of Humber’s Nutrition programs (Food and Nutrition Management or Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle Promotion) and have been hired by a privately owned and operated 65 bed nursing/retirement home, to work with the facility to develop a Food Safety Plan. You have your ADV.fst certification and went on to take Traincan’s HACCP certification course post-graduation. This long term care facility has 50 nursing home beds and 15 separate retirement home beds. 


The nursing home beds all reside on the main floor (as well as the food service operation) and the retirement home beds are in the 'basement'. Often, retirement home residents will transition to a nursing home bed when they are no longer able to live independently, requiring nursing care. Recently, within the last 6 months, this nursing/retirement home had a huge turn-over of senior management including the Manager of Food Services. As one of the new Manager’s initiatives, he hired a consultant to perform a food safety audit of their Food Services Operation. 


The only person to see these results – aside from the Manager of Food Services – is you. Prior to this change in management, the retirement/nursing home had an outbreak that was linked to the Norwalk pathogen. This outbreak lasted 10 days and affected 15 residents of the care facility. The local Public Health Unit was involved and they speculated that a Dietary Aid employee from the kitchen was the source of the spread. The Food Service Operation consists of: Manager – reports to Director of Care – he is new to the organization and has hired you as a consultant Food Service Supervisor – has worked at the organization for 15 years – works full-time; also responsible for Receiving and Storage, Monday to Friday Dietary Aids – 5 ladies who have worked at the organization for 15 years – 2 work full-time, 3 part-time 4 students – dishwashers and servers - all part-time.


You have been hired to take the results from the food safety audit & propose practical recommendations and strategies to implement positive change. The new management wants to make food safety a priority but they are not sure how. The Food Service Operation at this long term care facility can be described as : Institutional Central kitchen with an attached dining room where most nursing home residents are served meals – main floor Second floor dining room ('basement') where retirement home residents have meals in a separate dining room, served family-style. Questions – Food Safety Plan and Outbreak.

How could a foodservice worker infected with Norovirus Gastroenteritis spread the infection?


Question 1 - What is a Food Safety Plan and why would it be beneficial for a long term care facility like this one to have one? Question 2 - Describe how a foodservice worker infected with Norovirus Gastroenteritis could spread this infection in a long term care facility

Question 3 - Discuss the potential relationship between the past outbreak of Norovirus Gastroenteritis and possible lack of Food Safety Culture ??Questions – Food Safety Culture

Question 4 - Should the results of the audit be shared with foodservice workers and staff?

Question 5 - Why or why not should you share the results of the audit with foodservice workers and staff?

Question 5 - Do you feel that food safety audits in general are an accurate representation of a food service operation? Why or why not?

Question 6 - You identify for management that the promotion of a workplace Food Safety Culture should be a top priority for everyone in the organization – starting with top-level staff. How can management demonstrate their commitment to food safety culture? 


Give 3 examples Questions – Understand your Food Service Operation Question 7 - What are the challenges to this type of food service operation described above? Question 8 - Describe how this long term care facility can adapt HACCP principles to their food service operation Questions – Audit Results Question 9 - You and the Manager of Food Services have decided to develop three small, practical in-services for staff to address the results of the audit as well as other important information related to the topics. For each topic, list who you will target (which food service employees you will target and why) and 5 points that you want to address in your in-services (Note: I have not provided you with actual audit results but assume that this food service operation scored poorly in these sections of the audit form.

When you are discussing the points that you want to cover in your in-services, assume 'common' non-compliance eg. time-temperature abuse, improper handwashing and food handling) Food Temperature Controls Employee Hygiene and Hand Washing Food Handling As you prepare your engaging in-services to staff, you circle back to the purpose of your consultation services – guiding this institutional foodservice operation towards a solid Food Safety Plan. We know that to commit to providing safe food to residents requires adapting HACCP systems in the food service operation. 


We also know that these food safety systems are typically supported by a solid foundation of institution-specific prerequisite programs. You meet with the Manager of Food Services to discuss and determine the top 3 prerequisite programs that you both feel are a priority and require implementation now. Question: Prerequisite Programs List and discuss your top 3 prerequisite programs. Include in your discussion A) why this prereq program is a priority B) describe what the prereq program is and C) provide one issue that you will target/address in the foodservice Example: List and discuss a prerequisite program - Equipment - the components of this Prereq program include preventative maintenance schedules & calibration programs for pieces of essential equipment in the food service operation. Should also include materials and specific chemicals necessary to operate equipment as well as which employees are responsible for each task. Types of equipment may include dishwasher, fridges, freezers, convection ovens and mixers. This will ensure that the dishwasher is working effectively to reduce the risk of cross contamination. 

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