GWCCA and Levy collaborate to provide safest food and beverage experiences

Did you know December is Worldwide Food Service Safety Month? It’s an international campaign around food safety standards and serves as a reminder to food service professionals of the importance of properly handling, cooking, and storing food.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) partners with Levy Restaurants day-to-day to provide food safely to its guests. The GWCCA’s official food and beverage partner since 2006, Levy Restaurants provides world-class food and hospitality to guests across the Authority’s campus and the team recently won the 2018 Five Star Safety Award for its food safety efforts.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 6 Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food. Established in 1994, Worldwide Food Service Safety Month is the perfect opportunity for industry professionals to evaluate and improve their food safety practices and guidelines to prevent foodborne germs and illnesses.

For a facility that served 27,012 plated meals in fiscal year 2018, maintaining safe and sanitary conditions is paramount.

“Safety and sanitation are our top priority at Levy.  We actually have Justin Wills (on-site) who is our full-time Sanitarian.  It is his sole job to ensure we are delivering the safest food and beverage experiences of any convention center in America,” said Matt Roach, Levy Restaurant’s Senior Executive Chef at the GWCCA.

Chef Roach preparing a dish in the Georgia World Congress Center kitchen.

unConventional caught up recently with Chef Roach to better understand these behind-the-scenes standards and how the Levy team continues to excel in food safety.

Q. | How does the GWCCA and Levy work to provide food safely?

A. | Food safety is the job of every one of us.  Maintaining the structure of the facility, uninterrupted utilities, ambient temperatures, and safe food handling are all steps to food safety.

Q. | Does mass production impact the quality of food?

A. | It does not and should not.  We create menus and recipes just like you would enjoy in your favorite restaurant, with the only difference being that we have the equipment and chef talent that enables us to do it on a larger scale.

Q. | Are there any procedures we would be surprised to hear about that are required?

A. | When cooling larger batches of hot food, you are required to cool the item below 70 degrees in the first two hours and below 41 degrees in the next four hours for a total of six hours.  This is part of health code but you should follow this at home as well.