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Working with our community to ensure
a safe and healthy environment.


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    To begin participating in the Cutting Edge Program, you must first develop written Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) related to the foodborne illness risk factors listed below. Please note that only the risk factors applicable to your operation require an SOP. These should be general SOP’s outlining what you do, or plan to do, to control the foodborne illness risk factors in your food service operation.

    Once your SOPs are complete, please submit your SOPs and a Cutting Edge Program application to the Department. Simply fill out the Online Cutting Edge Application, which allows you to submit the document directly to our Department via email. Please ensure that you include your SOPs as attachments to this email.

    If your browser does not support the online application, please print, complete, and scan the printable version of the application and email it, along with your SOPs (attach them to your email), to our Department at Please call (602) 506-7392 for information about alternate submittal options.

    The Department will review your SOP’s to ensure they meet basic Code requirements (i.e., hot food held at 135 degrees or higher). Review methods include an independent review by Department staff or an in-person joint review between you and Department staff at our office or your establishment during an inspection.

    Corporations and/or chain establishments can submit a single application package and SOPs for multiple locations. After the Department approves your SOP’s, we will notify you that you are enrolled in the Cutting Edge Program and your next inspection will be an active managerial control Verification Visit.

    Foodborne Illness Risk Factors

    • Approved Source
    • Cold holding
    • Cooking Temperatures
    • Cooling
    • Cross contamination
    • Employee Health Policy
    • Food Contact Surfaces
    • Hand Washing / Preventing Bare Hand Contact
    • Hot holding
    • Reheating

    Need assistance developing policies for your operation? Click here to access a tool for developing your own SOP’s.

    In order to put the procedures into action, food service workers must be trained on the SOP’s. Training methods and frequency will be determined by each establishment. Effective training will emphasize the food safety aspects of their respective duties, including monitoring and steps for taking corrective action when needed. There are numerous resources & tools available to assist you in this endeavor.

    Verification is to ensure the activities described in the food safety SOP’s are being performed. Methods for verifying activities are done properly, and at the required frequency, should be outlined in your SOP’s. You decide what type of verification activities are most effective for your operation. Verification activities may include, but are not limited to –

    • Record keeping, such as maintaining log sheets.
    • Periodic self inspections to assess effectiveness of food safety management systems.
    • Observing that employees are carrying out the critical procedures correctly
    • Observing the person doing the monitoring and determining whether monitoring is being done as planned
    • Reviewing the monitoring records to determine if they are completed accurately and consistently
    • Determining whether the records show that the frequency of monitoring stated in the plan is being followed
    • Ensuring that corrective action was taken when the person monitoring found and recorded that the critical limit was not met
    • Confirming that all equipment, including equipment used for monitoring, was operated, maintained and calibrated properly

    Verification should occur at a frequency that can ensure the food safety management system is being followed continuously.

The establishment must have a Certified Foodservice Manager (CFM) on staff and either the CFM and/or a designated Person in Charge (PIC) must be present during all operational hours.

Establishment cannot have any unresolved legal action from the Department.