Many of us frequent our favorite restaurants and/or bars without paying a great deal of attention to those responsible for keeping the food and beverages we enjoy safe to consume. Quite often, this burden falls on a Certified Food Safety Manager. The following discusses how food service professionals can attain such certification in the State of New Mexico.
What Is A Food Safety Manager? Food Safety Managers, more commonly referred to as Food Managers, oversee the day-to-day operations of any establishment that serves customers food and beverages. These professionals are most often employed in restaurants, but also work in places like hotels, grocery stores, and public venues. A Food Manager wears many hats. However, arguably his or her greatest responsibility is ensuring the quality of the products he or she serves clients is top notch. In New Mexico, being qualified to carry out this critical task requires that candidates obtain a New Mexico Food Protection Manager Certification and those with experience renew their Certification.
How Do You Get A Food Protection Manager Certification?
New Mexico State Law mandates that every individual who oversees any type of food services venue, including sit-down and take-out restaurants, bars, catering halls, food trucks or within public venues who prepare and serve food must be designated as a Certified Food Safety Manager (CFM). Certified Food Safety Managers will need to successfully pass a Food Protection Manager Exam. A Food Safety Training program is not a required training, but it helps prepare you for the types of questions you’ll see on the exam.
What Does The Training Program Entail? This course covers food safety issues, regulations, and techniques to maintain a food-safe environment. It will help you to better understand how handling food correctly is not only the law, but it improves safety and lowers cost as well.
The Food Protection Manager Exam. The Food Protection Manager Exam is designed for mid-level or experienced professionals in the food service industry, such as restaurant managers, produce managers, c-store managers, etc. This exam does not require training or pre-exam courses (unless jurisdiction requirements stipulate otherwise). Test takers are assessed based on their knowledge of a set of concepts. Upon successfully passing the exam, the candidate will earn their Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) designation (or CFP). This acronym can be added to the individual’s name. The certification is valid for a period of three to five years. At the end of the certification period, recertification will be required.
How Does One Go About Enrolling In The Training Course And Exam? The Food Protection Manager Certification and Food Safety Manager Training are offered by a number of educational and technical institutions in New Mexico. However, it is important to note that an applicant needs to ensure that he or she enrolls in a program and exam which has received accreditation from the ANSI-CFP. Prospective CFM’s or experienced professionals seeking the renewal of existing certification will be required to pay an enrollment fee. These fees will vary depending on the particular institution offering the program. Most establishments that include the program as part of its curriculum will give those interested in enrolling the chance to do so either online or by phone. Please note, New Mexico state authorities have set March 1, 2018 as the date when all Food Safety Managers are expected to meet certification requirements.