Health Concerns

Restaurants on the Hook for New Food Safety Certifications

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Restaurant employees and owners whose safe food handling certifications suddenly disappeared today will have to bear the cost of getting re-certified within 60 days, health department head Dr. Rajiv Bhatia told Grub Street today. He said those taking the tests should have known something wasn’t right. “They (the inspectors) were engaging in practices that should have been apparent as cheating—providing [test] answers or providing certificates without requiring somebody to take the test…” But he said in cases where test-takers felt “duped” the department would consider waiving fees for re-certification. He also said the city would offer extra classes and tests in order to meet the new demand.

According to California law, Bhatia said, at least one employee or owner at every restaurant must be certified in safe food handling practices. Individuals have to take a test to get those certifications, usually preceded by some training. If you do it through the city, the training costs $107 and the test is $30, but any certified private agency can go ahead and offer the training and test for whatever price they want. These three health inspectors were offering the tests to restaurants in San Francisco, Bhatia said, which is a conflict of interests on top of the alleged cheating. Note to restaurateurs and employees: If you get a test with answers already filled in, you may want to ask for a new one.

See Which Restaurants Lost Food Safety Certificates [Grub Street SF]

Restaurants on the Hook for New Food Safety Certifications