New Program Verifies Food Safety Protocols in Foodservice

Global safety certification company UL is helping foodservice establishments meet their food safety goals with its new verification program, UL Everclean Verified Mark for Food Safety Practices. This verification provides objective evidence that a foodservice operation has met key food safety criteria, and helps communicate the high priority placed on food safety, hygiene and sanitation.

“The pandemic brought cleanliness in the foodservice industry into the spotlight. Consumers are now paying more attention to a restaurant’s sanitation and food safety practices than ever before,” said Michael Sperber, global business manager in the food division of UL’s retail and consumer products group. “With the UL Everclean Verified Mark for Food Safety Practices, foodservice providers can show to their consumers that they have taken the necessary steps to help ensure their facilities are properly sanitized, that employees know how to prioritize food safety and that they have implemented efficient food safety practices.”

Regulatory agencies are also paying closer attention to food safety in retail foodservice. In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released its report on a study of foodborne illness risk factors in retail food store deli departments. The report found that the most common food safety behaviors and practices needing better control included ensuring employees practiced proper handwashing, holding foods requiring refrigeration at the proper temperature, and cooling foods properly.

Regardless of the foodservice format, retailers need to follow through on food safety practices, hygiene and sanitation. To earn the UL Everclean Verified Mark for Food Safety Practices, an establishment must demonstrate that:

  • Food is from an approved source, properly labeled, protected from contamination, stored and handled safely, and cooked at a safe time and temperature
  • Employees are following good hygienic practices and properly wash their hands
  • Preventive measures are in place to control the addition of pathogens, chemicals and physical objects into food
  • Utensils are properly used, cleaned and stored
  • Insects, rodents and animals are not present
  • Hot and cold water is available
  • Garbage, sewage and waste water are disposed of properly

After achieving verification, the retailer can display a UL Everclean Verified Mark on its building and marketing collateral.

“Prioritizing food safety strategies matter not only to customer health and safety, but also to your company’s reputation,” added Sperber. “Establishing and verifying food safety practices and promoting these initiatives to a business’ customers can help demonstrate that it takes safety seriously, enhance brand reputation, and ultimately convey trust and peace of mind.” 

The Everclean food safety verification program, part of UL’s Everclean food safety and hygiene solutions, is a third-party retail food safety and sanitation audit initiative designed to help retail foodservice businesses optimize their food safety practices. Northbrook, Ill.-based UL (Underwriters Laboratories) conducts more than 65,000 food safety and sanitation audits annually across the United States.