Keeping It Kleen Launches Web-Based Food Safety Training that Speaks to All Restaurant Employees

New program encourages restaurants to make food safety part of their daily culture as customers and Health Departments demand restaurant transparency.

In an era when customers make their restaurant selections increasingly more based on the perceived cleanliness of a restaurant, food safety and sanitation is more important than ever. Keeping It Kleen, a national leader in food safety and sanitation, recognized this trend and responded with a comprehensive program that helps restaurants stay on top of the many issues related to food safety and cleanliness.

To assist restaurants in dealing with this important topic, Keeping It Kleen launched a web-based training and testing program that teaches all restaurant employees, regardless of aptitude, the basic best practices regarding food handling. “We see so many restaurants that deal with food safety and sanitation only on the day of a health inspection, and that’s a dangerous approach especially when a restaurant’s reputation is on the line,” said Julie Lovelass, Director of Operations for Keeping It Kleen.

Social media, review sites, and health inspection transparency have changed the way customers choose where to eat. The letter grade system in New York City and Los Angeles has received enormous consumer support and similar grading systems are now spreading across the nation. Tim Zagat, co-founder and co-chair of Zagat notes, “Our surveyors’ support for the display of health department letter grades has grown as fast as smoking bans a few years ago.” This demand is furthering the need for a food safety and sanitation culture shift within the restaurant industry as a priority if a restaurant is going to be competitive.

Keeping It Kleen’s program offers a multi-faceted approach. As a Participating Member of Keeping it Kleen, restaurants will have access to a full bi-lingual library of food safety information, web-based employee testing modules, and a dashboard to track employee progress. The program also includes a “Kleen Up Your Image Tool Kit” that arms employers with tools and techniques to navigate the world of review sites and the Internet.

“With review and social media sites taking the place of food critics, and in essence health inspectors, we at Keeping It Kleen equip our customers with easy-to-use techniques for dealing with site reviews, and also help restaurants become pro-active to counteract negative information that is tainting their reputation,” Lovelass said.

Keeping It Kleen takes a two-pronged “holistic” approach to food safety and sanitation by reaching out to both the consumer and also restaurants and restaurant operators. “We like to say, ‘Live Kleen-Work Kleen’ and encourage everyone to take responsibility for practicing safe and healthy habits, whether at home or at work,” Lovelass noted.

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Julie Lovelass