BFSC Committed to Food Safety Since 1997

Berger Food Safety Consulting is a leader in food safety. We have authored safety textbooks, we have a nationally acclaimed online certification course and our instructors are seasoned food safety professionals. We have even created an inspection software system that is going viral in the industry, but we have not given up our roots...education.
We work with individual restaurants to chains, universities to day care centers, mobile vendor trucks to NFL Stadiums. We have consulted for small catered events to national conferences such as the Democratic National Convention - we have done it all! If your business is serving food to the public (retail) then we are ready to help you with all your food safety training including: ServSafe, third party inspection audits, illness complaint response and HACCP plans for any specialized process like sushi rice, ROP, Dry Aging, etc. We also work on plan reviews, we help our clients negotiate problems with their Health Department , we offer custom seminars, emergency certifications, and many other food safety services.

BFSC: Food Safety Gurus for over 2,000 Brands

ServSafe Certification?

BFSC has several ways to get you ServSafe Certified. You can get certified for as little as $89. To be certified in most states all you need to do is pass the ServSafe Managers Certification Exam (RI workers beware*). The written version is $89 and it takes 2 weeks to receive results. The online exam is $95 and the results are available instantly.

However, the exam is much harder than it was a few years ago and most people will need to study, and if that sounds like you, choose the Food Safety for Managers text book or the Food Safety for Managers online course option, either option is $29 or get both for $49. The Food Safety for Managers online course is a $79 value! That may be all you need as you can study 24/7 at your leisure and take the exam in our Boston office Monday through Friday, 9-3 pm. The book takes just 2 business days for shipping and the online course takes up to 24 hours to process and send your credentials. (Or call M-F between 9-5 to get that set up immediately.)

Finally many of us prefer some traditional classroom lecture and review. Since COVID we are no longer hosting clases in out office but we still offer private classes for any of our clients

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>>


Illness Complaint Investigation

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.

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HACCP Plan Development

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>>

 

Common Consulting Options


Inspections (3rd Party Audits) $350 -$1200 depending on the size of your establishment(s)
Sushi Rice HACCP Plans $175/hr
ROP HACCP Plans $175/hr
Plan Reviews - New or remodel $175/hr
Emergency Rush Service $300/hr
On-Site Food Safety 101 Seminar $500 plus $ 10 p/student

Custom Seminars and Training

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.


Liaison Services with your Health Department

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.

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Plan Review

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.

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Food Safety Books and Training Materials

Our own Food Safety for Managers textbook for any managers certification exam as well as ServSafe training supplies.

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Online Exams/ Emergency Certification:

We now offer online exams for food safety certification. Online results are available at the time of testing to provide immediate certification.

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Allergy Awareness Massachusetts Law

We offer Allergy Awareness training and consulting to meet or exceed Massachusetts' new law. Read More>>



General Consulting

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!

Literally, we did write the book on food safety! Food Safety for Managers is a textbook to prepare mangers for the managers certification exams from ServSafe, the NRSFP, Prometrics, Learn to Serve, or Above training. Instructors and individuals nationwide have praised the easy to read, 84 page format that covers all the major factors a manager faces each day. From receiving to final service Food Safety for Managers is a concise guide to the latest FDA food code and at $29 a copy it is a proven study companion for all.

Meet Our Consultants!

  • Lisa Berger MPH, CP-FS

    Ms.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-FS

    After 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-FS

    Ms. 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, MBA

    Mr. 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 Bahsen,

    >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.<>

Let's Talk Food Safety
617-445-1647