Focus on the Food Code: New Details on the Certified Food Protection Manager

Food and beverage licensees must employ a Certified Food Protection Manager under the revised food code. This position is currently known as the Certified Food Manager. While the requirements remain similar, members should be aware and ready to comply with the changes.

Senior housing, assisted living settings, adult day centers that provide meals and nursing homes that serve food to individuals who are not residents of the nursing home are required to have a food establishment license. Rule 4626.0033, in the recently revised Food Code states: A food establishment licensee shall employ a certified food protection manager​ for each establishment including a food establishment that reheats ready-to-eat​ Time/Temperature Control for Safety (TCS) foods for hot holding, (except as provided in item B).​

"Protection" Added to Title:

Because the Conference for Food Protection and the FDA Food Code both use the title Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM), Minnesota is changing the title of its certification to match. After Jan. 1, 2019, certificates MDH prints will display the new title. If your certificate still says “Certified Food Manager,” don’t worry. When you renew at the end of your three-year certification period, your new certificate will show the updated title.

A Few Requirements Will Change

You will need to apply for Minnesota CFPM within six months of passing an exam from an organization accredited by the ANSI-CFP Accreditation Program.

You must have a CFPM or have at least one employee who is eligible to apply for Minnesota CFPM before you begin operating an establishment. All establishments need to have a CFPM on staff within 60 days of opening.

Food trucks and seasonal establishments are no longer exempt based on license type. The requirement to have a CFPM is based on your establishment’s risk and menu.

Most Requirements Won’t Change

Retail food establishments need to have one Minnesota CFPM on staff. Local health departments may have additional requirements. There are a few exceptions, based primarily on risk and menu. “Special event food stand” and “low-risk establishment” are still exempt, based on license type.

The Minnesota CFPM is valid for three years.

Minnesota CFPMs need to complete four hours of approved continuing education to renew.

The fee for initial or renewal certification is $35.

Minnesota CFPMs have important duties in the retail food establishment.

Continuing Education Instructors must be Minnesota CFPMs

Minnesota will begin to require instructors of continuing education courses for CFPM renewal to hold the Minnesota CFPM. Instructors will still need to stay up-to-date with topics they teach and keep attendance records for classes they teach for five years.

CFPM Promotes Active Managerial Control

Data from the FDA's Retail Food Risk Factor Study shows that having CFPM promotes active managerial control, a comprehensive food safety system to control foodborne illness risk factors, in the retail food establishment.

Foodborne illness risk factors are food preparation practices and employee behaviors that most often are contributing factors in foodborne illness outbreaks. With Active Managerial Control, CFPMs take an active role in the day-to-day activities, developing, implementing and monitoring effective training and food safety procedures.

When CFPMs notice risks that are not controlled, they work with food employees to take corrective actions. Through these corrective actions, retraining, or rewriting procedures, the risk of foodborne illness can be reduced.

Take Training Before Your Certificate Expires

If your retail food establishment is already in compliance with the current Certified Food Manager requirement, you will probably meet the CFPM requirement when the revised Minnesota food code goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. But here are some things to keep in mind:

Remember to take an approved continuing education course during your three-year certification period. If you wait until after your certificate expires, you will need to pass the exam again to renew.

If the CFPM for your establishment leaves employment, you have 60 days to meet the requirement.

Instructors of continuing education courses who are not already CFMs should apply for certification before they teach a class after the effective date of the rule (Jan. 1, 2019).

If you have already passed an exam, but haven’t yet applied for certification, consider getting your application in before the end of the year. After Jan. 1, 2019, MDH will only accept exam certificates that are less than six months old.

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