Protecting a Brand’s Food Safety Image – Universal Food Safety Education

chef stir fry

‘A Chain is Only as Strong as its Weakest Link’. While there are many ways this saying can be applied, in the restaurant industry as it relates to a brand’s food safety image, one person can have a profound negative effect.

We travel a bit and recently visited a restaurant of national chain for the first time. Floors, bathroom, walls, tabletops were all dirty. The bathroom sinks were deplorable. The four of us concluded we will think twice about returning to any of that chain’s units.

Hooters Corporate accused and sued a franchisee “of turning off customers by failing to maintain its restaurants in a hygienic condition and damaging the national brand.” This is a great example of how ‘A chain is only as strong as its weakest link’. A corporation cannot afford its image to be damaged by a weak link.

In a recent CDC publication, it is recommended that municipalities should “Require at least one employee in a food service establishment to be a certified food protection manager.” The unfortunate implication is that in some municipalities, no one is food safety certified.

What a simple fix! There are multiple resources for inexpensive, convenient food safety courses. offers unlimited food server and food preparer courses and comprehension quizzes, inexpensively.

Require all staff to be food safety certified and protect your brand image! can help.


Author: Dr. Harlan Stueven, MD

Harlan Stueven M.D. is a Board-Certified Emergency physician with sub-specialization in Environmental Toxicology and Board Certification in Medical Toxicology. Starting his career in the USAF, he served as a Flight Surgeon and Environmental Health Consultant Physician where one of his duties was monitoring food safety. In his nearly 40-year practice, he treated a range of medical, surgical and poisoning emergencies. He has been a Medical Director and/or Chairman of several hospital-based Emergency Medicine Departments, served as the President of Emergency and Environmental Medicine consulting group, a physician group Chief Financial Officer and sat on many national, state and local committees. Dr. Stueven founded Dining Grades and the Dining Safety Alliance to improve food safety by increasing awareness of food borne illness and the formation of partnerships within the food industry. He is a consultant to the Wisconsin Retail Food Establishment Grading Work Group; a Co-investigator in a CDC funded “Evaluation of Health Department Restaurant Inspection Programs” project. He has presented at several National, State and Regional conferences on restaurant grading and food safety. He is an accomplished leader, medical researcher, a champion of process improvement, author, and national and international speaker.

WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By :