Hygiene, Trust and Safety in Food Handling
What is the "H" Program?
Since 1990 Mexico has implemented a National Food Hygiene Handling program, the "H" Certificate, for all permanent food and beverage establishments in order to reduce the number of cases of foodborne diseases affecting Mexican and foreign tourists in Mexico and improve the country’s international image in regard to food safety.
The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Health awards the "H" Certificate to permanent food and beverage establishments: (restaurants, hotel restaurants, cafeterias, diners etc.), if they comply with the hygiene standards stipulated in Mexican Norm NMX-F605 NORMEX 2004.
The "H" Program is 100% PREVENTIVE, so that warnings are given about possible contagions that could cause foodborne illnesses. The program requires training for 80% of operational personnel and 100% of middle and senior management. The registered consultants who give the training have a background in chemistry/medicine/biology and communicate their knowledge in a structured manner and following the guidelines issued by a group of experts in the field.
What does the training involve?
Consultants give guidance to staff of permanent food and beverage establishments who request their service by sharing a series of recommendations and techniques on washing, disinfecting, cleaning, storing, freezing, refrigerating, thawing, personal hygiene, etc. to be implemented as a continuous improvement process.
A check-list is used for implementing this information, that must be complied with a 90% satisfaction rate. The list takes the following tasks into account:
Handling chemical substances
Refrigerating and freezing
Water and Ice
Sanitary facilities for staff
When the establishment adheres to these standards and complies with them, the Ministry of Tourism awards them the "H" Certificate which is valid for one year.
Catering establishments with valid "H" Certificates in Mexico (listed by state) (278KB)