Foodservice Expert Responds to Questions from Recent Webinar

August 27, 2012

Foodservice Expert Responds to Questions from Recent Webinar

Ken Schelper,
Vice President of Davanni’s, responds to a question following NFCA’s August webinar, “Cross-Contamination in Restaurants: What You Need to Know.”

In a follow-up to NFCA’s webinar “Cross-Contamination in Restaurants: What You Need to Know,” featured panelist Ken Schelper addresses a question from an audience member. To download and watch the original webinar presentation, visit NFCA’s webinar archive.


What percentage of restaurants employ a Certified Food Manager (CFM)?


Each state is responsible to enact their own Food Code into law. Most states simply adopt the FDA Model Code into laws, either wholesale or with minor variations.

The FDA Model Food Code mandates a Person in Charge (PIC) be present on all shifts of operation who is responsible for food safety on that shift and who must be able to demonstrate their food safety knowledge, including knowing about the major food allergens. There are 3 options available for PIC’s to “demonstrate” they have the required knowledge and one of them is to take and pass an accredited program (become a CFM).

Some states such as Minnesota, where I work, mandate one CFM per location. A few states mandate that every shift have a CFM present. In other words, every PIC must also be a CFM (certified through one of these programs). There is at least one state that I know of (Iowa), where they simply go with the PIC and don’t mandate that anyone be “certified.”

This can be a bit difficult to understand, but food laws are a state issue, so these will vary some from state to state. If your state mandates a CFM in their Code, then 100% of operations should have at least one. If they don’t, then it is likely that a very small percentage have them, but at this point, at least every person in charge should have some knowledge of allergen safety. The information I have indicates that industry education on gluten and celiac is being worked on as we speak.

To find out whether CFMs are mandated where you live, you would have to check with your state Department of Health or local Environmental Health Department. For many states, you can Google the state name plus certified food manager and get your answer.


Ken Schelper
Vice President of Davanni’s, Board of Directors for Minnesota Restaurant Association