bowl of veggies

Does Your Team Know What To Do In A Food Safety Crisis?
Published August 2, 2017  |  FSR

By Francine Shaw

A food safety crisis isn’t necessarily a foodborne illness incident or outbreak where someone got ill, injured, or died. According to Food Safety Magazine, during 2016, there were approximately 764 product recalls, that’s an average of 2.1 per day. The leading causes were undeclared allergens and Listeria contamination. The costs associated with these recalls are staggering. Recalls—even if no one was sickened—are certainly a crisis situation for the companies involved.



What Would You Do In A Food Safety Crisis?
Published July 17, 2017  |

By Francine Shaw

What if your restaurant inadvertently served salads made with tainted lettuce, which sickened dozens of guests?  Or one of your servers accidentally served pesto to a guest with a nut allergy, who had a severe allergic reaction as a result? Perhaps your restaurant didn’t pass a health inspection and your commercial kitchen was shut down?  You’re facing a crisis – do you know what to do next?



Training Staff on Food-Allergy Safety
Published July 6, 2017  |

By Francine Shaw

Food allergies are increasingly prevalent among diners, and they present such severe and even life-threatening risks that they now warrant mandated food-allergy training among foodservice professionals across the United States.v



Food Safety Experts Can Help Design Kitchens to Reduce Risks
Published June 28, 2017  | Contributor

By Francine Shaw

When designing a commercial kitchen, many people consider how the space will look, when they should be primarily concerned with how it will function. The design should maximize efficiency and productivity, but it also must promote proper food safety protocols.




11 Tips

11 Tips for Accommodating Food-Allergic Guests
Published May 3, 2017  |  We Are Chefs Blog

By Francine Shaw

A hot and important trend in foodservice is accommodating food-allergic guests. According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), it’s estimated that an estimated 15 million Americans have food allergies.



business trips

Not All Business Trips Go According to Plan
Published April 27, 2017  |  The Main Dish Blog

By Francine Shaw

Those of you that follow me know that I do a significant amount of travel. There are weeks that my business requires me to make four or five flights to meet with clients, give presentations, etc. I have become quite adept at getting from point A to point B, but even with experience, there can be challenges.



Many Lucky They Didn’t Get Foodborne Illness After Eating at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago
Published April 14, 2017  |

By Francine Shaw

It seems Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate could be serving more than its guests’ favorite meals. According to recent Florida Food Service Inspection Reports, inspectors found 13 violations at Donald Trump’s private Palm Beach club. This is a record for a food service establishment that charges $200,000 in initiation fees.


15 Ways to a Safer Kitchen

15 Ways to Build a Safer Kitchen

Published April 2017  |

By Francine Shaw

Designing full-service kitchens has become more complicated than ever. It’s important to consider appearance, functionality, and employee and food safety—it takes an army to accomplish this. From start to finish, kitchen design is a collaboration of architects, engineers, designers, food and beverage design firms, chefs, owner, operators, and food safety consultants.




A Day In The Life Of An Inspector: Is That A Dead Goat?

Published March 30, 2017  |

By Francine Shaw

I’ve been in the food service industry all of my life. As a child, I remember spending the warm summer days sitting on the front porch of my Grandma’s country store – a convenience store of yesteryear – in Harrisonville, PA.



Food Allergy Illustrations

Food Allergy Training Is Being Slowly Mandated Across the U.S.

Published March 30, 2017  |

By Susan Algeo

Let’s review some basic food allergy statistics. Approximately 15 million people in the United States have food allergies, including 9 million adults and 6 million children. The 8 most common allergies – including milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts – make up 90% of American’s food allergies.



close up of meat

Confessions of a Health Inspector: What is the Mystery Meat?
Published Friday, March 22, 2017  |

I entered a restaurant not too long ago to find frozen chicken heaped in a pile in the filthy three-bay sink, with dirty dishes and utensils surrounding the frozen raw poultry. To make matters worse, there was a bag of raw onions just to the side of the sink, where some of the raw poultry juices were draining.



Restaurant Interior Design

The Collaboration of Food Safety and Design: It’s Not Just About Cool Colors and Kitchen Aesthetics
Published Friday, March 24, 2017  |

Recently, I happened to sit next to an interior designer on a plane, and we chatted throughout the entire flight.  She was telling me about her job as an interior designer, and I was telling her about mine as a food safety expert, and we discussed – at length! – how these two roles aligned.



Trump Red Tape

Published on // March 2017
With Trump in Office, Where Does Food Policy Go Now?

Francine Shaw, president of Food Safety Training Solutions, says she is concerned that Trump views the FDA’s recent food-safety reforms as regulatory burdens. The American food system has come a long way since the 1993 outbreak of E. coli that struck Jack in the Box customers in the Western United States, she says. That crisis left four children dead, dozens with permanent brain and kidney damage, and hundreds more ill. Shaw lauds the Obama-era rules that began to phase out hydrogenated oils, reformed farm subsidies, and required reductions in sodium content.




cheeseburger and fries

Published on // February 2017
Many Television Chefs are Cooking Up Foodborne Illnesses

Part of my morning routine is watching a national morning television show or cooking show while I’m getting ready for work.  Often, the on-air personalities make blatant food safety errors on national TV – which make their viewers think it’s OK to model similar behavior in their own kitchens.



food safety during power outages

Published on // February 2017
Power Outages and Food Safety

Power outages are bound to happen, as no one is immune to the havoc that nature can create from time to time, so it’s important to prepare for this eventuality so you know what to do when the power goes off. It’s important to remember that loss of power can happen at any time of day or night, putting your food at risk. The best way to make certain that your food stays safe is to have a plan in place prior to the outage.




penalty chicken

Published on // February 2017
Seven-layer dip to die for? Keep your Super Bowl Buffet Safe.

The holidays have come and gone, and many of us have started the countdown to kickoff Sunday at NRG Stadium in Houston. Like so many Americans, I get pretty excited about the Super Bowl – especially if my home team, Pittsburgh, is playing.




Food Finder App

Food Finder App // January 2017

Of the 48 million food insecure people in America, nearly 2 million – including over 700,000 kids – live in Georgia, FoodFinder’s home, the 5th most food insecure state in the US. Most of those kids don’t know where their next meal is coming from. What if there were a way to simply, quickly, and confidentially see which food banks, pantries, or hot meals were available within 5 miles of anywhere? With real-time updates from a connected network of resources? And what if this ability was packaged in a free tool, that someone as young as a grade school student could use?




total food service issu - october header

Published in Total Food Service Magazine // October 1, 2016

While watching my favorite morning television show recently, I saw one of their high-profile on-air personalities make a blatant food safety error during a cooking segment. He was preparing hamburgers in a popular New York City restaurant kitchen, and at the end of the segment, he ate a burger while still wearing his food prep gloves. 




casino journal article header

Published on // October 5, 2016

Over the past several years, there have been numerous norovirus outbreaks in hotels and casinos, each sickening hundreds of guests. During early 2010, hundreds were reported to have contracted norovirus at Harrah’s Casino and Hotel in Cherokee, NC.



how to prevent norovirus

Published on LinkedIn PULSE // July 25, 2016

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), norovirus is the leading cause of illness and contaminated food outbreaks in the United States. Norovirus is a common virus that can spread widely and rapidly.



Prevent Norovirus Header

Published in Food Management Magazine // Francine L. Shaw // June 20, 2016

Several weeks ago, while waiting for a flight, I noticed the gentleman sitting next to me was wearing a jacket with a corporate logo from a foodservice organization. As it turned out, he was an executive for that company. As we began chatting, he asked me what I did for a living and I responded, “I’m a food safety subject matter expert.” He replied, “People spend too much time training and not enough time getting their work done.” I was astonished, and wondered…



Air Day Has Arrived

Is Food From A Gas Station Safe to Eat?

Aired on the Dr. Oz Show // May 17, 2016  //  Francine L. Shaw

Investigative reporter Elisabeth Leamy goes undercover with inspector Francine Shaw to find out if you should really be fueling your body in the same place that you fuel your car.



Tips to Prevent Norovirus: The Leading Cause of Foodborne Illness

Published on, Page 24 // Francine L. Shaw // April 2016

Norovirus is the leading cause of food borne illnesses and it spreads rapidly. Anyone can get infected with norovirus and it’s possible to get it more than once. The average person will get norovirus approximately five times during their lifetime.



Is your operation as clean as you think it is? Article Header

Is your operation as clean as you think it is?

Published on Food // Francine L. Shaw // April 2016

Food safety is an important issue in any foodservice establishment. Many believe that when food safety is mentioned, it’s referring to the time that TCS (temperature control for safety) food items spend in the temperature danger zone. While this is true, it’s only part of the equation—many other factors are involved in food safety as well.



Where is your food thermometer? Article Header

Where is Your Food Thermometer?

Published in Total Food Service Magazine, Page 24 // Francine L. Shaw // April 2016

There’s no doubt that foodborne illness outbreaks cause tremendous negative fallout. In addition to the horrible tragedy of customers becoming ill – or even dying – the companies responsible for the outbreaks often experience plummeting sales, negative publicity and ruined reputations. 



Higher Stakes

Foodborne Illness: The Stakes are Getting Higher for Companies and Their Executives

Published in Total Food Service Magazine, Page 24 // Francine L. Shaw // April 2016

There’s no doubt that foodborne illness outbreaks cause tremendous negative fallout. In addition to the horrible tragedy of customers becoming ill – or even dying – the companies responsible for the outbreaks often experience plummeting sales, negative publicity and ruined reputations. 



Safety First_Don't Be Responsible

Safety First: Don’t Be Responsible for a Foodborne Illness Outbreak.

Published in Dessert Professional // Francine L. Shaw // Feb-March 2016 Issue

Chipotle is in the news again. This time, it’s not another foodborne illness outbreak, but a criminal investigation! The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California with the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations is conducting the investigation, which pertains to a Norovirus outbreak in Simi Valley, CA last summer.



Higher Stakes in the Food Industry

It Has Been a Bad Year for Foodborne Illness: Here’s How You Can Prevent It

Food // Francine L. Shaw // January 2016

Last year was full of foodborne illness outbreaks:  Chipotle, the Boise Co-op, Blue Bell Creameries, and Andrew & Williamson Produce, just to name a few. Everyone in the food service industry should be taking notes.  When you handle food that’s consumed by the public, you have an obligation to make certain that food is safe. Period.   



Chipotle Outbreak article

Foodborne Illness: It CAN Happen to You.

This year, there have been numerous, widespread, serious foodborne illness outbreaks. Many in the food service industry think it won’t happen to them. But it could happen to anyone—and it could ruin a reputation.

Chipotle prides itself on “food with integrity,” but the restaurant chain had multiple reports of foodborne illness outbreaks this year; Norovirus and Salmonella several months ago, and now E.coli in restaurants across nine states. 



Are You Accommodating Food-Allergic Customers?

Convenience Store News – Exclusive! // Francine L. Shaw // January 29, 2016

Individuals with food allergies must be properly accommodated across all spectrums of the foodservice industry. Approximately 230,000 hospitalizations and 200 deaths occur annually because food-allergic individuals accidentally ingested or inhaled their allergens. Make one tiny mistake with “just a trace” of an allergen and someone could die, literally. –



9 Steps to Avoid Foodborne Illness Outbreaks.

Lodging Magazine // Francine L. Shaw // December 2015

This year, there have been numerous, widespread, serious foodborne illness outbreaks. Many in the food service industry think it won’t happen to them. But it could happen to anyone—and it could ruin a reputation. Recently Francine wrote an article published in the December issue of Lodging Magazine. Click the link below for ways to avoid an outbreak at your establishment.



If It Can Happen to Chipotle, It Can Happen to You.

Total Food Service Magazine // Francine L. Shaw // December 2015

Originally published in the December issue of Total Food Service Magazine, Francine writes about how difficult it can be to rebuild brand confidence after not one, but three food borne illness outbreaks at fast casual chain Chipotle over the last few months. Having policies in place is a great start, but it doesn’t do any good if it isn’t applied.




Maybe It’s Time to Rethink Your Business.

FSR Magazine // Francine L. Shaw // December 1, 2015

An organization can have all of the correct policies and procedures in place but it doesn’t do a bit of good if those mandates are nothing more than words on paper, in notebooks, shoved on shelves, collecting dust in offices. Food safety training and certification is equally valuable, but is your organization training to pass an exam or training to “teach” food safety? There is a difference.



Who is cooking for the Pope?

ISSUU // Francine L. Shaw // October 1, 2015

Whether you are cooking for the holiest man in the world or a room full of customers, the meals you’re preparing should always be made with care and attention to safety. The food you serve should never make anyone sick or (heaven forbid) kill them. Everyone deserves to have safe dining experiences – every time, regardless of where they go.



Food Safety is Really About Leadership

THE KITCHEN SINK // Francine L. Shaw // October 12, 2015

As a consumer, I’ve always loved fine dining: the ambiance, pressed white linens, nice tableware, chilled forks, well trained staff, and great food. While indulging in these luxuries—and the expenses associated with them—one has certain expectations.



A Good Company Culture Includes Good Hygiene

CONVENIENCE STORE NEWS // Francine L. Shaw // October 5, 2015

At the beginning of their era, convenience stores were simply gas stations where customers could pick up something quick to eat. Over the past decade, the convenience store concept has become much more complex. It’s no longer a place where you fill up your tank and grab a hot dog and a candy bar. Convenience stores now have menus — and with menus come food safety responsibilities.



Accommodating Food Allergic Guests

Accommodating Food-Allergic Guests

THE KITCHEN SINK // Francine L. Shaw // September 1, 2015

We are honored this month to have our featured article “Accommodating Guests with Food Allergies” published in Full Service Restaurants. Educating foodservice teams on the importance of safe food handling has progressed significantly in recent years, but more needs to be done. Chefs must have procedures in place to minimize the risk of cross-contact. Here are a few tips to make your kitchen friendly to food-allergic guests.



Francine L. Shaw

Role of Technology in Today’s Food Safety Efforts

FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES // Francine L. Shaw // September 1, 2015

Technology has transformed food safety efforts significantly in recent years. Today, we not only rely on specialized equipment to plant and farm, but we have very specific pieces of equipment that provide food safety reassurance.



Food Allergy Safety

Minimize the Risk of Food Allergies in Your Kitchen

FOODSERVICE EAST GUEST COLUMN // Francine L. Shaw // August 15, 2015

Food allergies are becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), itʼs estimated that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies. Eight foods are responsible for 90% of all allergic responses: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.