Resources and Tips for a Changing Food Service Industry

Resources and Tips for a Changing Food Service Industry
With Bart Christian, who is a nationally recognized speaker and the school nutrition industry.


School Nutrition Education Program
Resources and Tips for a Changing Food Service Industry
USDA Professional Standards Code 3220/3230/3450


Bart Christian

Mr. Bart Christian, who is a nationally recognized speaker and the school nutrition industry.

With over 25 years of experience in the School Nutrition, what are you seeing in the industry now?

• During this time, we make sure children get fed and ensure that the school nutrition department
are being appreciated for their hard work
• The industry has evolved the way they serve the kids; they have gone couple of different ways to
service such as driving ups service for parents to collect meals.
• In some districts, meals are separated for the day and for the week in order to maintain social
• Some people providing frozen food in that meal, something providing hot food that has to be
cooled and then reheated.
• They also are doing school bus delivery where they’re loading food up onto school, school buses,
same kind of process. Sometimes it’s a day. Sometimes it’s multiple days a work that’s worth of
food for a family and they’re delivering it either. By the bus route, either site the site or in most
cases, central location and letting people know that that’s where they’ll be. And then people come
to pick up their meals. Those two procedures are things that have never been done before in
• It’s been very critical that that schools follow proper procedures. One thing, a lot of people don’t
know about schools is that they’re very procedure driven. There is a literally a procedure for
everything that happens in a school nutrition environment from door to door.
• Since there are no SOPs, what we did with our team was, we put together standard operating
procedures for both those things drive up service and bus delivery. We also developed some
inserts and some things like that to go into the meals so that parents know the proper procedures
for handling it.

Tell us a little bit more about Non-congregate and Feeding Standard Operating Procedures

We put together a free complete document about the SOPs so it can be accessible to all. We have made
them available to the country.

• Bus services, delivering and receiving boxes – making sure that we properly handle cardboard
containers so that people will be aware of not being infected by the virus
• Cleaning a school bus – we make sure that they are safe and clean. So, we provided a COVID-19
approved germicide instructions that can be used
• Proper hand washing, proper personal hygiene

What’s the new hand-washing procedure in a bus environment?

My recommendation in our procedure is to wash your hands thoroughly before you start put gloves on
and wear gloves all the time. That way you’re not touching anything and if your gloves become soiled or
they become torn, or you need to change them, if you have an opportunity to wash your hands at a stop
or side, then obviously do that.

We’re encouraging people to take the gloves off as gently as they can. One simple technique is you’ve got
gloves on your hands, gloves get soiled and you want to take them off, you can take your thumb and run
it up the inside of the glove and just kind of peel the glove off that way as best you can.
And then drop that glove in the trash and take your clean ungloved hand and do the same thing with this,
this try and only to touch the inside of the glove and then discard that glove. We’re dealing with a lot of
new territory and the goal is to keep things as safe as possible when you’re handling food.

About the Free Food Safety Training

We’ve added on our food handler solutions website which is the Free Food Safety Training. It’s a full 8-
chapter course to help people that are not familiar with food safety. It’s a wonderful tool, especially
even if you just break off some chapters, you can kind of skip around and take chapters independently
of each other, but it’s a really great tool to take or to pass along to folks that maybe just aren’t familiar
with food safety and want to give them a little bit of something to get them started.

Can you share with us the best way to do meal inserts?

We started the inserts out from a basic information, so people would know how to handle their food, but
as the complexity of service became more evident and these complex meals were being served and the
complex meal basically means something that needs this cooked then needs to be and then reheat it and
then serve. That’s basically the definition and people are also adding in frozen food.

• There are districts that are providing a week’s worth of food, and they’re basically given such as a
hamburger, frozen hamburger patties, frozen chicken patties but there were no instructions for
• When a school district starts adding and providing that kind of food, it opens things up where they
not to provide parents with good solid instruction so that they could say that they did. So, we
developed the insert that has that handling of hot food from, in terms of getting it.
• Not eating it immediately and then putting it at the right temperature, cooling at the right time
and then reheating. We did the same thing with cold food, and then we added the frozen food in
so that people would know that the frozen food needs to be taken immediately and putting them
in the freezer.

Milk and Meal Packs

• A lot of schools are serving milk and USDA is a mandatory meal pack and that milk also needs to
be cool. There is some shelf stable milk that’s being used, but by and large, it’s not shelfs stable.
It’s the kind of milk that you have in school all the time. It’s a cooler and the kids get it as they’re
getting their lunch. So, we did that and we also developed an insert for basic home food safety.

Flyers and Inserts

• Not only does it apply to the meals, but you’ve also got a flyer you can insert in that it gives them
some tips for their own safety at their house when they’re preparing their own meals. This was a
pretty good thing because we had a lot of people take advantage of both of those tools.
• We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people who have used it. The interesting thing about the
inserts is that they’re editable. If your district is doing something a little different, they’re all word
documents, and you can edit them to fit your circumstances since you want to do that.

Labeled Templates

• We also put together some labeled templates, you can actually print labels off penal off and
stick them on a bag of a meal or whatever. Their language is in Spanish and in English. There are
also some DIY items about how to create your mask and how best to wear them.

COVID-19 Resources

• There are a lot of different resources on the COVID-19 resource page which, can be found at
school food handler right in the navigation area, just by clicking on COVID-19 resources at the
top of the page.
• The key thing about a mask is this, you can make your own, and that’s exactly what’s on there is
instructions to do that. Care’s very important so we added a resource on there about taking care
of your mask how do you care for it, how do you wash it etc.

Getting back to life with a new ‘normal’ setting, what can food service operations do in ensuring
parents and making customers feel safe again?

Two things —food safety in a child nutrition environment and school environment has never been an
issue. Food has always been safe there. They’ve got a painstaking measure to be sure that food is safe.
Personal hygiene in a child nutrition environment has always been taught. They’ve always done that and
they do a really good job. Make sure people wash their hands and follow guidelines.

Wearing Gloves & Masks

• Once the schools reopened, people will just take those extra measures to make sure that they
wear gloves all the time. If there are kids in the environment, gloves are not necessarily a required
for every single task in the kitchen outside of serving the food. I would say that in every
opportunity – you may find yourself wearing masks in school.

Maintaining Social Distancing

• As you’re handing things to people, be careful about touching people and maintain social
distancing. I believe this is something you can do now, as far as the restaurants go, same things.

I think you’re going to find servers that are going to be wearing masks that are going to be
wearing gloves. You’re going to have people in that kitchen that are going to be doing the same

Wearing appropriate uniforms

• Wearing things that they’re accustomed to wear is also a way towards making the customers
feel safe. Whether the customers come back quickly or not, it’s going to really depend on two
things. It’s gonna depend on how the restaurant and school markets the safety precautions
they’re taking.

Scheduling by Batch for Lunch

• Also, how quickly customers are still comfortable. I think the more your social distance in a
restaurant, I think you’re going to find people that are going to a 300-table restaurant or 300-
person capacity restaurant, maybe go to a 7,500, 125 people because it’s a spread the distancing.
You’re probably going to see schools go into more of a longer lunch period so that they can bring
kids instead of bringing the whole cafeteria in at one time. Maybe bring them in, in thirds. So, it’s
spread them out around the cafeteria.

“There’s going to be a lot of things to be different, food safety is not really going to be the issue. It’s
going to be the context.”

Do you feel like there’s any negative repercussions to just taking extra precautions?

No, there’s not. Caution can be overboard, but in this case, I think caution is not a bad practice, especially
follow you’re buying yourself into that grouping of people that have been more susceptible.

I watched people in the grocery store. I’ve noticed people taking things off the shelf, handling bugs and
he’s normal, and then reaching up and adjusting their mask or they got the mask down over their mouth
so they can breathe through their nose. It’s been shown that people that wear masks tend to touch their
face. As much as 75% more than they do when they don’t have it. What begs the question is that – can we
be disciplined more wearing a mask? As if you are touching things and then you’re texting your face and
you’re moving your mask around, it kind of defeats the purpose of them because of that.

Cause the mask is to protect what it’s to protect me from you. If you’re wearing them, you’re getting
somebody else or airborne and that can be an issue. So, I think it wouldn’t have restaurants, food, service,
operations, those kinds of things.

When they’re wearing masks, that it’s very important that they practice the proper use of the mask. Cause
they’re adjusting it. Then it’s going to just tell the confidence of customers that won’t cause problems.

As a nationally recognized speaker, what can people do in these times to stay positive in mind and just keep up a good outlook towards the future in life?

Stop watching the news. You can try watching to maybe every two or three or even four days,
things aren’t gonna change that much. You’ll notice an immediate improvement attitude.
Take time to watch your favorite movie or have some me-time. If you want to watch television,
watch something funny or watch some, watch something exciting, or action packed. Read your
favorite books, and listen to your favorite music and talk to yourself. Reflect. Ponder!
Don’t constantly tell yourself that this is the end. We’re going to be in this. It’s not going to get
better because none of that’s true. It’s not the end is it is going to get better. Timing may be an
issue, but it will get better. There’s no reason to think it won’t.
Be kind to people. There’s so much stress in this world right now that when I go into a store.
When you walk into a store, smile and say good morning. You can ask the staff how are they
doing or to people more or less. You will feel in your heart that people need that.
You need to know that you are not alone. For some people, they’ve been trapped in their house.
Some of them for weeks and they feel alone. I think if you can share a kind word and a smile with
somebody, it reminds them that they’re not alone. I’ve seen a big response when I do that. That’s
the key thing – a production line guard. You get what you give you reap what you said. And if you,
if you want to get positivity and good back from people, you must give it.