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Focus On Healthcare Food Service

  • 28 Feb 2020 12:41 AM | Larry David Bowe (Administrator)

    The Pineapple Academy Offers Just-In-Time-Solution

    Pineapple Academy meets, and often exceeds CMS The Right Competencies & Skill Set Validation process for 483.60 Food and Nutrition Services, Hospital, §482.28 Dietetic Services

    5 year moratorium

    It will be 5 years as of October that Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the new Food and Nutrition Services Standards, and the completion of the 5 year moratorium to implement, for all facility types ! The question, has your facility made changes necessary to meet this mandate?

    The Intent of changes

    The Intent”, in the Words of CMS, “to improve the care and Safety of the nearly 1.5 million Residents in the more than 15,000 Long-Term Care Facilities That participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs [i].”

    1. [i] CMS Survey Pre-Release Memo 17-07 (interpretive guidance for surveyors)

    How Will Changes Effect Your Operation

    When diving into the “New Regulation”, if your facility has always operated under a Food Safety Culture, there will be nothing new, but the concern should be on the new language that has changed in the CMS survey process & interpretive guidance for surveyors. Specifically, “Right Competencies and Skill-Set Validations” are now REQUIRED ! The question is not just what or why, but when and how this change in language affects your operation, and your staffs ability to be able to explain, it will effect new and existing team members differently!

    With the implemented the new Food and Nutrition Services standards, and the 5 year moratorium to implement, for all facility types, the survey team will be looking to test your staff on implementation, knowledge of these changes. The question, now is has your facility used the last 5 years to make changes necessary to meet this mandate, and how prepared are your staff?


    The Frontline of Food Safety is working along side The Pineapple Academy to offer a Just-In-Time-Solution accessible to your management team, and Frontline Staff, offering complete competencies and upgrades of skill-set and validations, from personal devices. 

    Just-in-time training is a teaching method employed in many professions. It must address a diverse levels of topics, with the ability to address, respond to the needs of the consumers they serve in a timely manner to ensure staff are up-to-date, or application of corrective action, training.  The underlying philosophy of Just-In-Time is that it is "The Best Solution", offering solutions to train/update employees for the types and topics of work, just before they will perform that work.  Just-In-Time Solutions include "New Staff On-boarding", "Annual Staff Training Requirements", "Training Required as a Corrective Actions", or Competencies & Skill Set Validation.

    With the CMS language changes, “a facility must provide each resident with a nourishing, palatable, well-balanced diet that meets his or her daily nutritional and special dietary needs, taking into consideration the preferences of each resident”. When diving into the “New Regulation”relating to the "language change", specifically Skill Set Validation, staff members training must address each residents daily nutrition needs, and preferences.

    Facilities and management teams must have at their disposal a vast array of training topics, tools to meet the needs of each resident ever-changing condition, as well as the ability to train, and or update staff on the needs of new consumers nutritional and dietary needs.  

    Resident Assessment

    The facility will be required to employ sufficient staff with the appropriate competencies and skills sets to carry out the functions of the food and nutrition service, taking into consideration resident assessments. Individual assessments must offer a plans of care, address the number, acuity, and diagnoses of the each facility’s resident population in accordance with the “facility-wide assessment”.

    Training Programs

    Your current training program must address consumers individual dietary needs, addressing their individual preferences, and your training must validate that each staff member has the skills sets, and specifically, your training has validated this fact! This is best address by suggesting each category of staff have completed, and meet each core competency! The goal is to establish, at lease minimum health and safety standards through (core competencies & skill set validations) that support the nutritional well-being of all residents while respecting their right to make informed choices about their care.

    This language change ensures the facility staff can communicate key aspects that are transmitted through competency training documents and verified through Skill Set Validation. The inclusion of competency documentation and skill set validation should establish training/communication that has taken place to meet consumer needs.

    This new provision must includes, address all other departments that Potential handle foods or related problems/risks associated with food distribution (includes auxiliary Staff (i.e. activities, other support staff, and or volunteers, vendors that serve food your consumers may eat)! Foods served during Special Events –Facility-sponsored special events, such as cookouts and picnics where food may not be prepared in the facility’s kitchen and is served outdoors or in other locations, require the same food safety considerations

    Competency Training

    Competency Training has been around for some time. The staff member is given a body of information related to a variety of topics, that may take the form of In-service materials, mini-classes, courses, videos on their duties or task to be performed and given a test at the end to ensure they understand. The purpose of a written test is to enable the organization to determine the staff member understood the material, is competent to perform the specific task/duties.

    It is also important the information has been customized to enumerate the organizations' standards, values, expectations, but most importantly meets the consumer needs. This process does not imply the person meets a certification level. Certification can only be possible when the testing is independently verified by a third party, who has a set of strict rules, which validates the third party is independent of employers' operation and has only administered the test for that purpose.

    Online Solutions Available On Personal Devices 

    Frontline of Food Safety is working along side The Pineapple Academy to offer a Just-In-Time-Solution accessible to your management team, or Frontline Staff, offering a complete competency, and the need to address upgrading staffs skill set, and a process of validating from personal devices.

    Just-In-Time-Solutions that address new (onboarding staff), annual training, corrective actions (resulting in staff not meeting consumers needs); communicating to all employees, members of your organization the values, and the reason why the organization exists. This process should clearly express where the organizations stand on the issues and how members are expected to respond: honoring, educating customers on organizations goal, objectives & vision of meeting their needs. This process must address educating all staff members that fall short on the organizations' vision of fulfilling, educate customers to this objectives.

    Pineapple Academy program, address the Validation Process measuring staff members' appropriate, with standardized knowledge, skills to deliver to serve consumers. Proof that food handles have participated in or completed necessary training includes managers, supervisors, trainers, observing that duties, job activity is being performed as expected. 

    In the past, it was acceptable that the staff member was given materials, and a questioner at the end was proof training took place. There now must be a process that validate that the“Right Competencies and Skill-Set have been instituted to meet each consumers needs and preferences! We will address Individual assessments, plans of care, menu planning and production, distribution systems, dining locations to include any area where one or more residents eat their meals or food and beverage is stored and served.

    we would love to schedule a Free, No Obligation Demo of this game changing approach!

  • 18 Oct 2017 5:24 AM | Larry David Bowe (Administrator)

    Living in a OPEN SOCIETY, leaves us open...

    Keeping the nations food supply safe comes down to every operation heading to the warring signs when suspicious activity is suspected.  We have enjoyed the benefits of living in a OPEN SOCIETY, were relationships are build on trust.  The greater responsibility for food service operation  is that we betray the trust our customers have in our professional ability to keep their food safe, and your brand viable. 

    Is there a need to train our staff to spot Suspicious Activity in food operations?  Teaching your staff what to look for and how to report suspicious activity "Improves awareness, and can prevent businesses from being used in illicit or terrorist activities (FDA{1}). Be aware. Your effort makes a difference.  There are great free resources such as "Employee's First Line of Defense", and or See Something, Say Something" that can be used as training resources. 

    Personnel Policies & Procedures Help!

    One of the greatest risk to food security is by far Staff Turnover, lack of knowledge and or staff not following organization policy.  Some of the other things you can do are to have clear, personnel screening processes to include applications, background checks, check references as well as uniform policies.  It should be clear to others who is on your staff and a process, in place to challenge anyone that enters back of the house or food production areas unauthorized.  This is not about racial profiling, or looking at someone and trying to see if they are trustworthy; if one of your best employees does not follow your organizations Food Security Plan, it creates vulnerabilities that places everyone at risk!

    The lack of any food defense may have devastating repercussions for a organization.  Food contamination can result in widespread illnesses or even death of the consumer(s), law proceedings, distrust in the product, company, and even the industry. The smallest incident can bankrupt an entire organization.  The opportunity for "Open Venues"; were large groups of people are staged for meals or events can bee seen as a opportunity to take a deliberate act to cause harm, or disturb the flow of business.   A opportunity to perform a "food defense vulnerability (self) assessments", which can effectively access an organizations risk, or area's were food or process is exposed.

    Related Upcoming Events: AudioEducators2018 Phase II Updates on CMS Sanitary Conditions under Food and Nutrition Services

    Vulnerability Assessment

    Every operation risk will be different, but without a vulnerability assessment it is more difficult to see or understand why your organization is at risk.  Vulnerability Assessments should be performed regularly, continually assessing vulnerabilities of your locations food security.  Vulnerability Assessments should become an inertia process of every operations, particularly when a suspected food vulnerability is identified, when it is noticed staff members are not following organizations security policy which opens up your operation to a food security events.  


    What to look for?

    ✔ Person(s) taking notes, drawings, photos, or videos of your business
    ✔ Person(s) attempting to gain information in person, by phone, or by email about your business operations
    (specifically about security measures and personnel)

    ✔ Person(s) conducting surveillance of self-service areas (i.e., salad bars, condiment areas, and open bulk containers)                                                                                                

    ✔ Person(s) attempting to gain access to restricted or unauthorized areas.                                                                                                         

    ✔ Thefts of employee uniforms, badges, or packaging labels                                                                                                                                       ✔ Employees changing working behavior or working irregular hours
    ✔ Unattended vehicles illegally parked near your business
    ✔ Unattended items (e.g., backpacks, boxes) within or near
    your business.

    Instruct Them On "What They Can Do"

    ✔ Notify management if you observe something suspicious
    ✔ Secure open containers of food or ingredients in food
    preparation areas appropriately
    ✔ Control access of all employees, delivery personnel, and patrons
    to food storage and preparation areas
    ✔ Keep doors locked as appropriate and prevent access to food preparation and storage areas, including
    loading docks ✔ Monitor self-service areas (i.e., salad bars, condiment areas, open bulk containers) for evidence of tampering ✔ Monitor products for retail sale for evidence of tampering (i.e., damaged packages, evidence of resealing of packages, leaking packages)
    ✔ Monitor the security of the premises as appropriate
    ✔ Conduct background checks on employees
    ✔ Train employees on awareness of suspicious activity and reporting procedures.

    How does Food Defense affect organizations?

    "Threats to the food supply could occur at any level in the food-supply chain. These attacks are focused on a specific food item, process, company, or business. Attacks may be done by a variety of individuals such as: individuals posing as customers, employees/former employees, vendors, competitors, political ideologists, organized terrorist or activist groups, lone "copycat" individuals, criminals, or anyone with an agenda. The motivations for such attacks vary greatly and include, but are not limited to, financial gain, thrill/challenge, prestige, revenge, publicity, chaos, competitive advantage, or political reasons" (2).

    BENEFITS (USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service):

    By having a Food Defense Plan, you will contribute to a safer and more secure food supply. You will also protect public health, your employees, and your livelihood. A functional* food defense plan may also:
    o reduce the risk of unsafe product and economic loss,
    o reduce theft,
    o reduce the need for additional regulation on food defense, and
    o reduce company liability.


    (1) Indiana State Department of Health, Food Defense Section

    (2) Indiana State Department of Health, Food Defense Section

    (3) 2012 Interactive Food Defense Workshop-

    For more information, check

Food and Nutrition Support

As part of your ongoing operation development and part  of the QA Team, facilities will conduct, document, and annually review a facility-wide assessment, which includes both their resident population and the resources the facility needs to care for their residents (§483.70(e)).  

This month we will focus on the Food and Nutrition Department role in Facility Assessment, and use of Assessment Tools.


The purpose of the assessment is to determine what resources are necessary to care for residents competently during both day-to-day operations and emergencies. Use this assessment to make decisions about your direct care staff needs, as well as your capabilities to provide services to the residents in your facility. Using a competency-based approach focuses on ensuring that each resident is provided care that allows the resident to maintain or attain their highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.

The intent of the facility assessment is for the facility to evaluate its resident population and identify the resources needed to provide the necessary person-centered care and services the residents require.   

Join the conversation, what are some of the tools you you to keep the focus on person-centered care?  


We are Seeking Consultants to join Frontline of Food Safety to share valuable content in this Blog.  We are also seeking Food Safety Device developers who would want to share, advertise innovative Food Safety Devices/Products.  

If you want to join HACCP Navigator Team, or Partner with us to help keep The Food Chain Safe email me,


HACCP Navigator , LLC (dba) Frontline of Food Safety, our goal is to train and certify FrontLine food handlers, supervisors and managers, as well as to stimulate critical thinkers'.

  Food Safety workers strive to navigate the seven Point Grid of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points; gaining a mastery of the fixed approaches, remedies and paths that demonstrate they understand safe food handling.

 & The Pineapple Academy

Staff Online Training, Validation Tools

For More Information Register (click) for Demo

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HACCP Navigator is dedicated to developing the most UP-TO-DATE innovations for FRONTLINE FOOD SAFETY for Long Term Care, Healthcare in general and the expanding to RETAIL FRONTLINE FOOD HANDLERS.  A host of Industry Experts offering industry knowledge, Policies, Procedures as well as Best Practices for our Industry. Professionals developing, working on cutting edge innovations ways to perform beyond our expectations.”

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Establishing A FrontLine Defense For Global Food Safety!

"Recall" coming to an establishment near you
Success as a food service provider in today's global marketplace will requires you to promote Global Food Safety as a catalysis for organizations growth, and your staff as front line defenders of the quality and safety of food productsOnly the players that "spotlight" responsible food safety and sanitation practices as a framework that promotes a Culture of Food Safety within their organization will stay in business
Gone are the days when you just trusted your food safety planning and implementation to third parties that does not understand or have a vision of how your products will affect the global food service marketplace.  Everyone now must serves as front line defense within the organization.  This requires a understanding  your H.A.C.C.P. plan and how every delivery will affect your operation.    (more go to HACCP Navigator Blog Post)

Food Talk@

COMING SOON! Food Safety Talk Radio

Address: 10256 Webb Farm Road, Lincoln, Delaware 19960

Phone: +1 (302) 531-7922 Larry D Bowe, Principal, Food and Nutrition Consultant



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