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College of Health and Human Sciences

How to prevent food bioterrorism in country clubs

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dave Olds examined how national and Midwestern country club managers use safety precautions for food security and to prevent food bioterrorism.

To curtail the possibility of someone intentionally contaminating food at a restaurant or country clubs, Olds, who earned a doctorate in hotel, restaurant, institution management and dietetics in December, has several low-cost tips for club managers that can overlap with their standard security.

Tips include:

  • Perform a background check on all employees.
  • Issue nametags or ID badges to employees. "Hotels and restaurants have a 300 percent turnover rate, and holidays are an especially busy time of the year. A quick form of ID like this may prevent former employees or others from coming in dressed as employees," Olds said.
  • Store foods and chemicals in a locked area. Though it may slow operations a bit, it will prevent pilfering as well as tampering, he said.
  • Move icemakers to more secure locations where they can be monitored. "So many times these machines are kept out of the way, but ice is a heavily used product," Olds said. One of the country clubs he visited kept the icemaker on a dock outside the building.
  • Keep exterior doors locked, as well as doors to rooms or facilities currently not in use.
  • Consider video surveillance. "Even if it's a dummy camera, if a person feels like they're being monitored, then it may discourage deviant behavior," he said.
  • Station someone to monitor self-service food service areas, or even assign an employee to help serve the food to customers, Olds said.
  • Become familiar with faces, especially those who are granted access to a facility, like delivery agents, repair workers, etc.

This article was posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011, and is filed under College News, Hospitality Management.