Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association creates safe dining pledge

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The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association is inviting restaurants that are ServSafe certified to sign a newly created safe dining pledge.

The ServSafe Dining Commitment, announced Thursday, is designed to communicate to guests that restaurants achieving its credentials have exceeded all safety and sanitation protocols through extensive training and education. It is a demonstration of their pledge to prioritize the health and safety of all those who work and dine in their establishment, according to the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA).

“The hospitality industry has always prioritized the health and safety of guests and employees above all else,” said Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the MRLA. “In this era of COVID-19, the MRLA ServSafe Dining Commitment further demonstrates this as restaurants across the state continue to safely serve guests and make certain they feel comfortable when dining out or getting carryout or delivery by basing their commitment in education and proper accreditation.”

Only restaurants that have achieved ServSafe credentials can pledge the MRLA ServSafe Dining Commitment. Administered by the U.S. National Restaurant Association, ServSafe is a food and beverage safety training and certificate program. The primary goal of ServSafe is to educate food service workers about food safety.

As part of the MRLA ServSafe Dining Commitment, restaurants commit to:

  • Adhere to MRLA, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reopening guidance
  • Ensure at least one person per location has a valid ServSafe Food Protection Manager certification
  • Have a minimum of 10 employees per location trained with ServSafe Food Handler and ServSafe COVID-19 courses
  • Comply with Michigan executive orders and local municipality rules

The ServSafe Food Protection Manager certification signifies the completion of the course teaching about foodborne illness, how to prevent it and how to train employees in food sanitation. The ServSafe Food Handler course covers basic food safety, personal hygiene, cross-contamination and allergens, time and temperature, and cleaning and sanitation. ServSafe COVID-19 courses teach how to recognize symptoms, understanding how to prevent the virus and guidance on operational changes to maintain social distancing.

“Restaurant Partners’ management is very excited to see the launch and availability of the MRLA ServSafe Dining Commitment through the National Restaurant Association,” said Jeff Lobdell, owner of Grand Rapids-based Restaurant Partners Inc. and board member of MRLA and the National Restaurant Association. “The ServSafe brand is the standard-bearer in our industry with regards to all things hospitality and food service training, and this program will surely assist restaurants and their guests across our great state to ensure maximum workplace and dining safety during these challenging times. We are all in this together, and everyone’s health and safety is our top priority.”

In turn, restaurants are encouraging guests to commit to the following when dining in or ordering carryout from their establishment:

  • Wear a face covering while not seated, in accordance with Executive Order 2020-153.
  • Have patience with staff as extra precautions are implemented for guest safety.
  • If feeling sick, order delivery or contactless takeout.
  • Maintain proper social distancing.

Restaurants ready to commit can go to commit.servsafe.com. Customers will start seeing the ServSafe Dining Commitment logo at participating restaurants later this summer.

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