The Conference for Food Protection (CFP) will hold its biennial meeting April 9–14 in Providence, Rhode Island. One of the issues scheduled to be voted on during the conference is the revision of Standard 5.3, which deals with food safety certification examinations. The proposed changes eliminate the ability of an instructor/educator/trainer to administer or proctor a food safety certification examination. The proposed changes would require that independent instructors or organizations with training departments provide dedicated proctors to administer the examinations. The instructors teaching the classes would no longer be allowed to administer their own examinations.

The Conference for Food Protection is an independent organization that establishes standards for nationally recognized Food Protection Manager Certification Programs. All Food Protection Manager Certifications are required to comply with the standards set forth by the CFP. This includes Prometric, ServSafe, and the National Registry for Foodservice Professionals.

The proposed changes to Standard 5.3 are: An instructor/educator/trainer of food safety training shall not administer or proctor a food safety certification examination; and instructor/educator/trainer and test administrator/proctor may exist in the same legal entity but shall be structurally and functionally separated to insure the confidentiality and security of the examination.

The Maricopa County Restaurant Association opposes these changes. According to Don McGuire, director of the Association, the current regulations are sufficient to insure the security of the examinations in keeping with the public protection mandates of the CFP. The current regulation constitutes valid and reliable criteria for training and testing, and the proposed changes do not enhance consumer protection. The changes if enacted merely create an undue and pointless burden to existing training organizations and students. This burden will be reflected in additional costs in training, which will ultimately result in higher costs to those individuals seeking certification as food protection managers. No reliable or compelling data has been presented to indicate such changes are necessary or warranted.

Food Safety, Industry News