I eat regularly at a restaurant that a few years ago had at least three fatalities and numerous illnesses from salmonella and other sanitation related diseases. Of course, now the restaurant is a model of cleanliness and standards after the fact which certainly does not diminish the lost lives and suffering. This was due to a lack of washing hands correctly after going to the rest room by staff who then handled uncooked foods such as salad, fruit, etc. Many will blame this incident on the staff person who was in a hurry and failed to wash their hands before resuming work. I take a different perspective.

I attribute this failure to a lack of adequate training to basic standards and lack of or non-existent supervision. It may be possible the supervisors (or in this case the leads in the restaurant) had not been trained as well. The result was a lot of bad publicity for this chain as well as some serious litigation that may be still going on by families of those who died or were sickened. None of this had to happen and none of this should have happened.

This is a perfect example of the true cost of NOT training since it was probably deemed an “expensive” waste of time to train workers in safe food handling procedures which included hand washing, keeping touch areas sanitized and following commonly accepted guidelines that are in place across the country. Hopefully, that accountant has moved on to another line of work that does not allow him/her to make shortcuts that has cost the parent company far more than the cost of training ever could.

The other cost is lack of supervision. We all recognize that the role of management is to train, observe, correct and observe some more in a continuous cycle. This is very important in all businesses and crucial in custodial operations. Where was the supervisor/manager when this happened?

Remember that quality does not cost; it pays and this is very evident in training to a standard and then following through to make sure it is performed correctly.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.