Food Service Industry – Sanitation and Food Safety Quality
Mary FitzGerald, NCFPM, the founder of Safe & Sound Food Safety Consultants, has a distinguished track record of raising the quality of food safety and sanitation in every establishment she serves. Her successes and relationships with some of the finest chefs, operators and restaurateurs both across the US and in Latin America are well documented. Her dedication to her client’s long-term success is undeniable.
Mary has been in food service and hospitality her entire life; serving others, eating healthy and being an example sets her apart...she does what she says and says what she does!
She received her B.S. degree in Dietetics from Immaculata University, Philadelphia, PA and was determined to start her career in institutional food service. After her US Public Health Service Dietetic Internship, her first position turned out to be with a well-respected and rapidly growing restaurant company based in San Francisco; from that point forward, Mary remained in the restaurant industry.
After only weeks at her first job, Mary was promoted to the position of New Restaurant Opening Kitchen Trainer and Quality Assurance, where she was responsible for setting up entire kitchens and storage areas as well as train all production, line and maintenance employees in both culinary and food safety and sanitation practices. During this time, she opened restaurants from California to New York (22) with stops in between ultimately becoming the General Manager of a 5-floor restaurant in mid-town Manhattan for over 12 years. Over time, Mary continued her training and career in the restaurant industry and, in 2009 was retained by a prominent restaurant company in New York to prepare them for the new, Letter Grade Program, similar to the one in Los Angeles. Faced with enormous obstacles; large, old buildings, poorly constructed and with years of neglect, she assessed the issues for each of the seven properties which included kitchen renovation, large equipment replacement, training of all culinary teams from Executive and Sous Chefs, Line Cooks, Porters, FOH Managers and Service Teams.
Four months into the program, the first NYC Health Inspector arrived bestowing an ‘A’ rating with the first inspection. Over the ensuing months, all 9 restaurants received the coveted ‘A’ rating on their first inspection. Continuing that record, today Mary's clients continue to receive and maintain 'A' ratings. Mary was then contracted by EcoSure to audit all Starbucks in New York City, Hilton Hotels, NYU and Pace University food service facilities, TGI Friday’s and McDonalds. Mary’s reputation grew, and she was retained by several high profile independent restaurants for whom she performed inspection audits and training, all of whom received ‘A’ ratings.
Safe and Sound focuses on the foodservice industry which includes restaurants, hotels, bars, bakeries, coffee shops, college and school foodservice facilities, stadiums, arenas, food manufacturing facilities, national parks and has been active in bringing US food safety standards to restaurants in Latin America. In addition to inspections and certification training, and writing custom HACCP plans, she and her team perform real-time, on-site food safety training to kitchen teams during service helping them to understand the need, value and efficiencies created by safe food handling.
Mary is Certified as a ServSafe Trainer/Proctor, HACCP, Allergen Training, TIPS (Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service), for SQF, PCQI, FSMA and by The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health. She trains and mentors her team of Instructors and Inspectors. She is on the staff or Los Angeles Trade Tech and trains and certifies Food Safety Managers and TIPS certification for the Los Angeles Hospitality Trade Association.
Safe and Sound is a part of The Restaurant Project Development Team, a restaurant and hospitality consultancy focused on strategic operations, human resources and growth for small, emerging restaurant brands.