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Food Safety & Special Meals Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Food Safety & Special Meals

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Be sure to include a food-s­afety checklist as a standard element in your risk-m­ana­gement strategy for meetings or events.

• Famili­arize yourself with basic ratings and certif­ica­tions so you know what's expected of venues and food handlers.

• Establish the needs and logistics for special meals well in advance, and be sure all parties (including servers) are well informed and prepared to meet your group's needs.


What is your current health­-in­spe­ction score? When was it last reviewed?
How many members of your culinary team hold a food/h­ygiene certif­ica­tion?
How many members of your culinary team are certified food handlers?
How many of your culinary team have taken and passed the ServSafe Food Allergen training program?
How do you manage food recalls (like the recent E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce)?


Where does your meat come from?
Where do your fish and seafood come from?
Who sources your poultry?
What farmers and local purveyors do you work with in the region?
What certif­ica­tions, if any, do you abide by when purchasing food to ensure the food is authentic (e.g., Protected Design­ation of Origin or PDO, Global G.A.P.)?


How does your front-­of-­house staff manage and serve special meals?
How do you label food in buffets and passed hors d'oeuvres? Do labels include ingred­ients and/or note the allergens? Who is respon­sible for creating the labels?
Is there one point of contact for guests with dietary concerns?
Are servers trained on what is being served and how to deliver specialty meals?


How does the kitchen safely manage and prepare meals that meet special dietary needs (food allergies, religious restri­ctions, etc.)?
Have you developed menus that specif­ically address food allergies and other dietary concerns? If so, please provide examples.
Who on your staff knows the ingred­ients in all of the food being served to my group? Who will be our point person? Will that person be on-site with us for all meal functions?
Is the chef available to work on creating customized menus, and does he/she have the flexib­ility to do so?
Is the chef experi­enced in creating a menu that accomm­odates all?
Will the chef talk to individual attendees, if needed, about their dietary restri­ctions?
If you order specialty items for special meals, how do you receive, store and label the items when they come into the kitchen?
Does the kitchen have a separate area and utensils for preparing special meals? If not, how is cross-­contact prevented?
How are special meals commun­icated to the kitchen and front-­of-­house staff?
How do you label and distribute those meals so that they do not come into contact with other meals?
How are special meals noted in banque­t-event orders? Are they labeled "­chef's specia­l," or is the type of meal spelled out?