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Can Any Restaurant or Hotel Receive an International Food Safety Certification?

Food Safety

How do you prove to the public that your restaurant or hotel is a safe place to eat? In this world of instant information, if governments in many Latin American tourist destinations are not able to regularly inspect your kitchen, then how will you prove to tour operators and to the public that your kitchen is safe? How does the public know you are following leading food safety standards? How does the public know that your kitchen has the most vital piece of equipment - a hand washing sink? How do you defend yourself in court from a foodborne illness lawsuit?

When was the last time the government inspected your restaurant? Some governments in Latin America inspect less than 1% of the restaurants each year. As more travelers find out that neither governments nor tour operators are looking out for their safety, by inspecting restaurants, it will be even more important for restaurants and hotels to provide their own verification of following leading food safety standards. If neither governments nor tour operators are verifying food safety standards, who is looking out for the health and safety of the tourists?

Tourists are learning that in Latin America, some governments do not have the resources to inspect restaurants and enforce food safety violations which may put the health of the public at risk. Are local tour operators choosing hotels and restaurants based upon food safety standards or solely by commissions? Local ground operators will need to start making restaurant and hotel choices based upon verifiable standards. As the reports and claims regarding foodborne illness on tours continue to increase, international travel suppliers are beginning to demand more accountability from local ground operators, as far as where they are taking their customers. Sick customers can mean lost business for restaurants, hotels, and ground operators. Depending upon the severity of the foodborne illness, your business may end up in court.

Here are four qualities that a restaurant or hotel owner needs to have to receive a top international certification:

  1. Cares about their business

  2. Wants to rise above the competition

  3. Wants to serve the safest food possible

  4. Wants to rest easy knowing that they are doing everything possible to reduce risks and liabilities while also safeguarding their reputation

Are all certifications created equally? No - Certifications that are involved with your business for a short amount of time and rarely return or simply give you an app to monitor operations are more of a rubber stamp than an effective program to reduce your risks. With the high amount of turnover in the restaurant industry, anything less than a monthly approach is inadequate, especially if your local government is not holding your feet to the fire by strongly and regularly enforcing standards. Cocina Verify is not a rubber stamp. Cocina Verify is a monthly training and inspection program that provides owners with the highest confidence that the restaurant is working at peak efficiency, safety, and with the highest hospitality standards available.

When tour participants get sick and find out that the restaurant or hotel kitchen has not been inspected recently, or ever, by the government or any third-party food safety professional, the tourist has a much stronger legal case against the tour operator and the restaurant or hotel. Now is the time for tour operators, restaurants, and hotels to consider the current state of food safety standards and verification of those standards. Tourists who come from the U.S. Canada, Europe and Australia do not want to know that many restaurants and hotels are not regularly inspected. That is not good for business.

Cocina Verify is here for your business to ensure the customers continue to come back as well as to attract new business from tour operators. We are your one-stop for all of your restaurant food safety training, inspection, and hospitality needs. We are also certified ServSafe® USA trainers and proctors. Please give us a call to see how we can make you stand out from the competition.