Mark (Mick) Micklos, CP-FS, is an executive dedicated to food safety education and advocacy. His 27-year career includes 16 years in restaurant operations, training, and food safety, the majority of which was spent holding Director- or Vice President-level positions at Waffle House Inc.; seven years at the National Restaurant Association working on behalf of industry, culminating as Director of Food Safety and QA Programming; and most recently, as a Partner-Advisor with Active Food Safety LLC, where his work with the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) has led to breakthrough discoveries in Food Safety Management System and food safety culture behavior in foodservice establishments. Mick has served on 19 professional advisory boards and committees. He has published six articles and three book chapters, and has contributed to two guidance documents. He has earned ten awards for his work and is a frequently requested speaker on a wide variety of topics.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Mick [2:36] about:

  • A chapter he wrote in Food Safety Leadership in the Business of Food Safety—a book recently published by BNP Media and Food Safety Magazine and edited by Hal King, Ph.D.—titled, "Developing a Business Model that Improves Public Health: Recovery from Natural Disasters and Food Safety Emergencies"
  • Mick’s experience with developing a formal food safety training and certification program for Waffle House
  • Unique attributes of Waffle House’s operation that posed challenges to the design of Waffle House’s corporate food safety program, but also provided boons to the business
  • How businesses can build a resilient food safety program that is equipped to handle food safety emergencies, reflecting the theme of World Food Safety Day 2024, which is “Prepare for the Unexpected.” 
  • Initiatives Mick implemented to help Waffle House locations ensure food safety when operating during natural disasters
  • The importance of and suggestions for building relationships with regulators, local emergency responders, and public health agencies prior to a disaster
  • The meaning of the “Waffle House test” and how it testifies to the company’s exceptional efforts in emergency operation and food safety preparedness
  • A change made to the 2013 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code that Mick helped facilitate, which allows certain foodservice businesses with approved emergency operating procedures to stay open during a disaster or to reopen without an inspection.


News and Resources:

World Food Safety Day 2024 Urges Everyone to “Prepare for the Unexpected”

Food Safety Leadership in the Business of Food Safety


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