Understanding the relation between establishment food safety management and risk factor violations cited during routine inspections

Xarviera S. Appling, Petrona Lee, Craig W Hedberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Certified Food Manager (CFM) training can help ensure proper food safety practices for decreasing risk factor violations associated with foodborne illness. However, the effectiveness of food safety management also depends on the authority of the person in charge (PIC) and the added value of third-party inspectors auditing food safety policies and practices. To examine the effect of food safety management characteristics on risk factor violations cited on routine inspections, we evaluated results of 546 routine inspections in the cities of Bloomington and Richfield, MN, between 2016 and 2017. Food establishment management was characterized by the presence of a CFM of record for the establishment, whether the PIC was certified, and whether the establishment used a third-party inspector to audit food safety policies and practices. For each of these food safety management characteristics, the establishment had fewer risk factor observations that were out of compliance during routine inspections. The relationship between the establishment’s food safety management characteristics and either the percentage of observations out of compliance or the inspections with observations out of compliance differed by risk factor category. For preventing contamination by hands, the lowest rates were found for inspections in which the CFM of record was the PIC. However, for potentially hazardous food time and temperature violations, establishments that used third-party inspectors had lower percentages of both observations and inspections out of compliance across all categories of management characteristics. The results of our study support the recommendations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding CFMs. However, our findings also suggest greater complexity in the characteristics of food safety management, which include the role of third-party inspectors and whether a CFM is acting in the role of the CFM of record.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1936-1940
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of food protection
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge cooperation from the Bloomington, MN Environmental Health Division, which assisted in collection of the data used in this study. We thank Dr. Laura Le (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis) for assistance with the data analysis, Dr. Kirk Smith (Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul), and Dr. Fernando Sampedro (University of Minnesota, St. Paul).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, International Association for Food Protection. All rights reserved.


  • Certified food manager
  • Food safety management
  • Person in charge
  • Routine inspections
  • Third-party auditors


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding the relation between establishment food safety management and risk factor violations cited during routine inspections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this