BFSC Committed to Food Safety Since 1997
Serve Safe Manager Certification
StudentsBFSC is proud to have certified more companies, more chefs, more managers than any one else in New England since 1995. We have a convenient location in Boston for regularly scheduled ServSafe classes
Food Safety Audits - Third Party Inpsections
The food safety audit is an integral part of your quality assurance program. It's main purpose is to assure that you are in compliance with the most current regulations, prevent a foodborne illness outbreak, and protect your restaurants and its mangers from legal action in the event of an outbreak. It serves to highlight areas in need of improvement that managers and owners often overlook because of their heavy work loads.
Our third party audits are valuable as they give your managers a fresh view into what is going right and what is going wrong. A regularly scheduled internal audit can identify problems before a health department inspection or before an outbreak can occur.
Each audit is detailed in our computer generated report which is completed before we leave your facility. Our sophisticated reporting system allows us to group the violations to suit your needs: by VIOLATION; by EMPLOYEE which is a detailed explanation of each violation by the responsible employee; or by AREA or ROOM which is a detailed explanation of each violation grouped by areas defined by you. In addition the reports will include: a signed confidentiality statement and a list of the violations found; a summary of the top 5 issues to work on; a Temperature Summary page and a Discussion section which highlights overall strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement that would have the greatest impact on protecting your guests against foodborne illness. Read More>>
Did you know that of all the foodborne illness complaints to the health department, 73% of those complaints blame a restaurant as the cause of their illness. In reality, of all confirmed cases of foodborne illness, only 30% are a result of eating in a restaurant. By having a complaint formally investigated, you demonstrate to your customer that you take their complaint seriously and that you are commitment to providing the safest, highest quality food.
The Complaint Investigation is a two part process. The first of which is interviewing the individual who made the complaint. The interview will illicit important information such as date and time of the meal and of the onset of illness; type and duration of symptoms; whether or not medical care was sought; and menu items consumed. The second part is the environmental investigation. This involves inspecting the food establishment. The focus of this inspection will be of those food items suspected of causing illness: where they were purchased, how long they were in storage, who prepared them, what ingredients were used, what cooking temperature were used and how long were they cooked, and how long they were held before service.
HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is a prevention based system to assure food safety. It is used throughout the food industry whether is be on the farm, in a manufacturing plant, or in a retail operation. It is a system that identifies and monitors hazards to food and identifies key processes in the flow of food where these hazards can be controlled.
A HACCP plan is required for sushi restaurants or establishments that: conduct vacuum packaging, smoking or curing meats or fish, or using "time as a public health control", just to mention a few.
A HACCP plan is the written documentation and is based on seven basic principles: 1. conducting a hazard analysis; 2. determining the critical control points to reduce or eliminate the hazards; 3. establishing critical limits for each critical control point; 4. establishing monitoring procedures; 5. establishing corrective actions; 6. establishing verification procedures; and 7. keeping records.
Each HACCP plan is customized to your facility. Usually, an initial phone or face to face meeting is set up to determine your needs and expectations. Each plan is developed over a period of time by the HACCP "team". The "team" consists of a member from Berger Food Safety Consulting, the manager or person-in-charge from your facility, and any other facility staff members who will help develop and execute the plan. Read More>>
Our Hourly Consulting Rate
Do you need training in HACCP plan development? Are you looking for an introductory food safety seminar for new employees? Do you have a few employees in need of personal hygiene training? Any type of food safety and sanitation seminar can be developed depending on the needs of your facility.
Our most popular seminar is our "Food Safety 101" seminar for all new and experienced food handlers. "Food Safety 101" reviews food safety basics such as how to prevent cross contamination, proper personal hygiene, safe temperatures and proper procedures for cleaning and sanitizing.
We also have a program for non-managerial staff that would benefit from a hands-on training rather than sitting in on a seminar. We call it, “Hands on!” We will come in and “show” your staff how set up a work-station or specific area so that he or she can perform their duties in a safe and sanitary manner. This can include showing new staff how to set up a three bay sink and how to use chemicals properly. It may include hand washing demonstrations or instructions on how to calibrate and use a thermometer. This training can be customized to your needs or can be one that covers your establishment from front to back.
If you have been shut down or your permit has been suspended for food code violations or have "trouble" with the health department, we can help you by working with you and your health inspector to solve the problems. Often, the solutions include representing you in an official hearing at the health department, certifying additional managers in Food Protections courses, conducting "Food Safety 101" training for your staff, and providing food safety audits that are used as training tools for you and assures compliance with the food code for the health department.
We offer full plan review for new construction or remodel of existing restaurants.A thorough plan review is essential in making sure that you are in compliance with all health department requirements and therefore avoiding costly and timely mistakes. By reviewing and making recommendations for architectural plans, food service equipment, menus and all sanitation policies, we can identify potential problems BEFORE costly purchases, installation and construction begins. Not only can we review your plans for accuracy and compliance, but we can assist with health department approval by representing you during the entire process.
Food Safety Books and Training MaterialsOur own Food Safety for Managers textbook for any managers certification exam as well as ServSafe training supplies.
We offer Allergy Awareness training and consulting to meet or exceed Massachusetts' new law. Read More>>
General consulting services are available as needed. If it has anything to do with food safety we can solve the problem. We can make sure you are serving the safest food possible in the least intrusive way possible. Please call to inquire.
We Wrote the book on Food Safety!
Meet Our Consultants!
Lisa Berger MPH, CP-FSMs.Berger is the founder and president of BFSC. With 20 years in the business as an epidemiologist and food safety expert she is a frequent speaker for public health organizations (the Massachusetts Health Officers Association, the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] the Massachusetts Restaurant Association (MRA), and the food service industry in general. She appears often on local and national TV programs and is considered an expert witness in the food safety world. Ms. Berger is also the author of the prominent food safety text book “Food Safety for Managers” and is a trainer for health inspectors across the country.
Eileen Hicks CP-FSAfter earning her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition with a concentration in Food Service Management. Ms. Hicks worked over twenty years in corporate, institutional and restaurant food service establishments. Ms. Hicks also served as Nutrition Director for the Westwood Public Schools for four years serving 3200 students. She developed and implemented menus for pre K -12 grade levels, meeting the nutritional guidelines for the National School Lunch Program. Ms. Hicks has donated her time to Share Our Strength and teaching students cooking techniques and food safety. She now works as a food safety consultant for Berger Food Safety Consulting, performing hundreds of inspections in the Boston and Metro West areas, venues such as Gillette Stadium and TD Banknorth Garden and numerous restaurants.
Cynthia Parenteau, CP-FSMs. Parenteau has consulted for BFSC since 2005. She has worked with Boston area establishments such as: Todd English Enterprises, Fresh City (multiple locations), Fire and Ice (multiple locations), KFC (multiple locations), Nashoba Brook Bakery; Wellesley College, TD Banknorth Garden, Agganis Arena (BU), and for special events such as the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at the Garden. She has also been a trainer for the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, the Worcester Department of Public Health, Boston Public Schools, Burlington Public Schools and many others. Ms. Parenteau has appeared often on local and national TV programs and is author of the prominent food safety training book "Food Safety for Managers".
Robin Williams BS, CP-FS, REHS, RS,Robin brings a wealth of experience to Berger Food Safety Consulting with her years of experience in the military sector, the regulatory sector and the private sector. She has seen it all and done it all. She has worked with Berger Food Safety Consulting for 15 years and has developed many loyal clients like Gillette Stadium , helping to insure their distinction as the only NFL stadium without a critical violation in the last 2 years. Whether you need training or regular audits, Robin will offer her broad experience to your business.
Darin S. Detwiler M.A.Ed.Mr. Detwiler has over 20 years of experience and involvement in food safety reform and over 15 years of experience as a public educator. In 1993, Mr. Detwiler lost his young son, Riley, to E.coli during the “Jack-in-the-Box” E. Coli O157:H7 outbreak in the Pacific Northwest (which resulted in hospitalization of well over 500 people and the deaths of four children.) In 1993 he testified before a Congressional panel on the state of food safety. As a parent, he worked with the USDA to advocate for stronger food safety regulation. The highlight of his USDA work was his participation needed to create and federally mandate the use of “Food Safe Handling Labels on all raw meat and poultry products.” Still in use today, these consumer labels issue warnings that products may contain bacteria capable of causing injury or death to the consumer together with safe handling instructions outlining steps critical to food safety.
Pedro Diaz, MBAMr. Diaz is a Proud veteran who after graduating in 1995 from Marquette University with a BA in Criminology and minor in Spanish Literature started a career in the hospitality industry that led him to Mexico, US Virgin Islands, and Florida. In 2000, Mr. Diaz joined the United States Coast Guard for four years and after an honorable discharge in 2004, started working in the Boston and Providence area hotels in a variety of capacities including operations, banquet, convention services, and sales. Since 2009, Mr Diaz has been teaching food safety classes in Spanish and conducting food inspections for Berger Food Safety Consulting, Inc.
>Emily Bahnsen graduated from the University at Buffalo with a dual degree in Health & Human Services and Psychology, and a minor in Art History. Afterward, Ms. Bahnsen worked teaching Environmental Education with The Y in California and New York and spent summers working in Adventure Trips and Farm Programs. She has been certified with CPR/AED/First Aid for 9 years and as a Wilderness First Responder for 4 years. Ms. Bahnsen is also an accredited Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid instructor. Currently Ms. Bahnsen works for Berger Food Safety Consulting, teaching their “Choke Safe” classes and managing the office.<>