TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cocina Verify (cocinaverify.com), an innovative new company, provides travelers with reliable information about which restaurants outside of the U.S. are concerned with – and properly trained in – food safety protocols. A free, user-friendly resource, Cocina Verify differs from customer review sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp. Instead of offering peer reviews, Cocina Verify verifications come solely from the organization’s team of experienced, certified food safety professionals. Now Cocina Verify has launched an innovative new Kickstarter campaign to help provide food safety education/professional development opportunities for restaurant employees in developing countries, who otherwise wouldn’t have access to this critical information. Cocina Verify will award annual scholarships for continuing education opportunities in the fields of culinary arts, tourism, hospitality or business management to employees of Cocina Verify restaurants.
Cocina Verify is galvanizing a powerful global community of:
- Travelers who want the safest restaurant options when traveling in Latin America, Asia and Africa, based on measurable standards, not subjective consumer reviews.
- Restaurant owners who want to provide the safest dining options for their guests.
- Travelers and restaurateurs who are contributing to a new Kickstarter campaign to provide professional development and continuing education for restaurant employees in developing countries, who otherwise would not have these important learning opportunities.
“The growing Cocina Verify network is enhancing the lives of restaurant employees around the world, keeping guests safer from foodborne illnesses, and strengthening communities in underserved nations. Not only are we spotlighting a huge network of safe restaurants in the developing world, but our groundbreaking food safety training programs are also improving the lives of the restaurant employees in the process,” said Allan Daly, CEO and Founder of Cocina Verify. “Restaurant employees are already sharing compelling stories of how the Cocina Verify training is changing their lives, teaching them valuable information about food safety protocols. They’re using this information successfully at work, and then taking it home and improving the way they take care of their families.”
“Kickstarter is about making positive changes in communities. This new, life-changing Cocina Verify Kickstarter campaign will help educate food service employees about food safety, while keeping consumers safer from foodborne illness – it’s a win-win,” Daly continued. “We’re providing much-needed food safety training opportunities for many hard-working restaurant employees and owners – such as mom and pop restaurants in Latin America who simply cannot afford the traditional food safety programs necessary to keep their guests safer.”
Contributors to the Cocina Verify Kickstarter campaign will receive socially responsible rewards for their participation. Based on the level of their contribution, Kickstarter supporters will receive rewards being manufactured with a social and environmental focus because all the cloth items (e.g., T-shirts, aprons) are certified fair trade/organic cotton.
Millions of people worldwide get sick each year from improperly handled food and contaminated water. In fact, one of the most pressing concerns among international travelers is the risk of contracting a foodborne illness when dining abroad. Restaurants featured on Cocina Verify have voluntarily chosen to have their water tested, all their employees trained in food safety, and their restaurants inspected, guided by U.S. FDA food safety code standards, working in concert with local regulations. This information helps consumers make more informed decisions about which restaurants to visit during their travels and which to avoid.
Daly, who often travels internationally, was repeatedly becoming ill from the food and water that he consumed in Latin America. He wished there was a guide that outlined which restaurants follow proper food safety protocols, to help fellow travelers decide which establishments to patronize and which to avoid. No guide existed, so he created Cocina Verify to help enhance consumers’ confidence and experiences when dining abroad.
“In the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia, governments have regulatory policies and enforcement programs in place to greatly reduce the risk of foodborne illness to the public. In many other countries, these regulations – and adequate enforcement of the regulations – don’t meet these high standards,” Daly explained. “Cocina Verify is the first company that inspects, trains and verifies independent restaurants outside of the U.S., guided by the U.S. FDA Food Code and California Food Code in concert with local regulations to ensure that these restaurants are meeting U.S. FDA food safety standards.”
The website is free for consumers to use, and restaurants are searchable by geography. The responsive webpage means consumers can search restaurants on their computer, tablet or phone, making it convenient and accessible while traveling.
Cocina Verify is a third-party restaurant training and inspection program that helps international restaurants implement U.S. food safety procedures and inspections, so that international travelers can dine out with an increased level of trust and confidence. For more information, visit www.cocinaverify.com. To contribute to the Cocina Verify Kickstarter campaign, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/206876023/choose-a-restaurant-and-change-the-world.