DENVER, CO and MIAMI, FL – January 14, 2021 – In these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses, small businesses, especially, are either seeing a sharp decline in revenue or even facing closure – none more prevalently than the many restaurants and cafes across the nation. Bailouts, which are there for big airlines and other big businesses, are non-existent or negligible on behalf of the restaurant industry. That’s where the non-profit Dining Safety Alliance (http://www.diningsafetyalliance.org/) comes in. The Dining Safety Alliance is inviting restaurants to participate in independent confidential virtual inspections and unique front of house serving food safely, delivering food safely and sanitation training– to establish their rating, and then have the ability to display an A+ certification, in order to attract new and retain existing customers.
“During my work as a board certified emergency department physician and department chief, a 22-year-old man died from foodborne illness, and it really impacted me. I decided that we needed to have a tool that helps people choose the safest restaurants and helps restaurants improve. Most are doing a good job, but some can improve. Part of the problem is having an understanding of causality and then focusing on education. My team and I are members of or have partnered with organizations to explore these issues,” said organization founder, Dr. Harlan Stueven. And, it is due to Dr. Stueven’s passion for this issue that Dining Safety Alliance’s Dining Safety Certification Program will be launching in the state of Florida this coming January.
Partnering with long-time restaurant consultants and industry veterans Jim Lopolito, and Leon Lubarsky, well-known authorities on food safety, the team of three have taken Dr. Stueven’s idea to the next level and are offering a certification program to restaurant owners and their employees. However, it is the Dining Grades cornerstone program, amid the COVID-19 crisis –in collaboration with Dining Safety Alliance that is being proactively launched in order to provide food establishments a way to elevate their business. The organization has designed an educational plan for front of house and delivery staff that will teach the basic strategies and etiquettes to ensure safe food handling. This will minimize food-borne illness risk to the public, the hidden danger in food handling, while reducing air-borne and sanitation risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. What this will allow restaurants to achieve is an A+ rating which they can then post in their restaurant window, on their menus or website, ensuring the public that they are topmost in dining safety: a measure which has been shown in past studies to increase a restaurant’s revenues by at least 5 percent. (http://kuafu.umd.edu/%7Eginger/research/jin-leslie-choices-final.pdf)
In a recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Health and linked on the NEHA website, they showed that displaying health inspection grades are not only encouraged but are best practice. In “Disclosing Inspection Results at Point-of-Service: Affect on Foodborne Illness Outcomes and Recommended Practices,” the study states: “Disclosure of health department inspection scores or grades at the point of service, such as at the food establishment, eliminates a barrier to using inspection data in the decision-making process. It does not require the added task of using technological resources to check a website. Mandated posting of restaurant inspection results at the point of service is an effective public policy that fosters transparency, population health, and informed consumer choice.” In their survey, it was found that establishments that chose to disclose inspection grades at the point of service reported fewer average re-inspections, complaints, outbreaks and cases of salmonella infections. The overall survey recommendation was that policymakers and restaurants should consider adding point of service disclosure of inspection results to their current practices. The full article can be read, here.
Other research partners in the Dining Safety Alliance’s court are the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and the University of Minnesota. The Dining Safety Alliance intends to become an authority for restaurant dining safety, in order to assist the industry in this time of precarious operating budgets they are facing. — “Educating staff alongside a structured virtual inspection service, provided by DSA, accommodates recognition in the front window to the establishment showing dining safety is a high concern to customers looking for a safe place to eat. This assembly of criteria and recognition has been proven to increase revenue,” said Jim Lopolito, Board member at Dining Safety Alliance. “Our job is to show them that. Our mission and vision is to help restaurants – especially the ‘mom and pops’ or smaller restaurants to not only survive, but eventually return to thriving.” Dining Safety Alliance in collaboration with Dining Grades will be poised to improve restaurant business success, giving them their recognized grade, which will become their “stamp of approval” to their patrons – a much needed boost in this pandemic economy, and for the future of the restaurants we all know and love.
About Dining Safety Alliance
The idea that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is the foundation on which Dr. Harlan Stueven and his partners at Dining Safety Alliance – And Dr. Stueven’s Dining Grades – has been built. Dr. Stueven’s Dining Grades reviews hard data from public health inspection scores and converts it to a standardized numerical score and then a letter grade to enable the public to choose the safest restaurants.
Read more at: http://diningsafetyalliance.org/.
Company Name: Dining Safety Alliance Public Relations
Contact Person: Christine Oneto
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Country: United States