Mass Certification

Certification Requirements for Massachusetts Food Establishments

WHAT DOES THE FOOD CODE SAY ABOUT FOOD MANAGER CERTIFICATION?

Since Oct. 1, 2001, the Massachusetts Food Code 105 CMR 590.000, also known as the State Sanitary Code for Food Establishments, requires certification of at least one person per facility.

If you own or operate a restaurant, grocery or convenience store, supermarket, catering establishment, institutional kitchen, or any other kitchen that handles potentially hazardous foods, this new regulation applies to your establishment. You or someone on your managerial staff needs to become certified. Massachusetts Food Code also requires the training of Person(s) -In-Charge (PIC). The PIC can be trained in-house training or by a professional trainer, so long as this individual is knowledgeable in safe food handling and prevention of food borne illness.

WHAT IS CERTIFICATION?

Certification simply means that a person, manager or owner, has taken a class in food safety and prevention of food borne illness, and then passed a test. The testing company issues a certificate to the passing candidate.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIEMENTS FOR A CERTIFIED FOOD MANAGER

Each establishment must employ at least one, full-time equivalent PIC who is at least 18 years old that passed an accredited food protection manager exam. The certified food manager has several responsibilities. She/he is responsible for ensuring that the PIC is knowledgeable enough to demonstrate this required information and must be present during all hours of operation. Almost all food service and food retail establishments require a Certified Manager. However the very short exception list includes:

  • Non-profit temporary food establishments
  • Daycare operations serving only snacks
  • Food establishments selling only pre-packed foods
  • Limited preparation of non-potentially hazardous foods
  • Satellite feeding sites receiving prepared meals for immediate service

PERSON-IN-CHARGE (PIC)

Aside from the Certified Food Manager, other designated employees (PICs) must be able to demonstrate the same knowledge of the Food Code, including food borne illness prevention, HACCP and corrective actions. He is also in charge of the overall operation of the food establishment.

During a health department inspection, if the Certified Food Manager is not on-site, the PIC must be able to respond satisfactorily to any regulatory questions or concerns raised during an inspection.

Regardless of who is present, the Certified Food Manager or the PIC, they must demonstrate knowledge of the food code in the areas of food safety including but not limited to: personnel hygiene, employee health, sanitation, HACCP principles, potentially hazardous foods (PHFs), pest management, facilities, food borne illness identification and prevention, and various other related areas.

WHAT ABOUT RE-CERTIFICATION?

According to recent Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommendations, all Certified Food Managers must re-certify every 5 years. Currently a "Re-Certification Exam," does not exist. The only option to re-certify is to take the same exam as someone taking it for the first time. However the applicant may arrive just for the exam or sit for the entire class at no extra charge.

 
 

ALSCO Food Check Group is currently offering consulting services to the food industry including:

Audits and audit follow-up, HACCP plan development and verification, and employee training.

Contact Al Scoglio at 508-746-9353 email us info@alscofoodcheck.com