How Cocina Verify Works

Food safety is a serious issue. Many people choose not to travel to other countries because of serious threats posed by foodborne illness and unsafe water. Foodborne illness often results in diarrhea and/or vomiting, though some people experience more severe health problems that require hospitalization. Sadly, some will even die from foodborne illness.
In the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia, governments have implemented regulatory policies and enforcement programs to greatly reduce the risk of foodborne illness to the public. In many other places, including Latin America, their regulations are not yet held to the stringent U.S. standards, resulting in higher incidents of foodborne illness outbreaks.

 

Cocina Verify™, a third-party restaurant training and inspection program, was created to provide tourists and business travelers with information about restaurants outside the US that are concerned about food safety and have voluntarily chosen to have their water tested, employees trained, and restaurants inspected, guided by the US FDA Food Code and California Food Code in concert with local regulations.

Once overseas restaurants have passed tests and inspections, and their staff has been trained in food safety, they are showcased on Cocina Verify™. This allows consumers to make informed decisions about which restaurants to visit and which to avoid.

Cocina Verify™ differs from travel and restaurant review sites. Instead of featuring peer reviews, the trainings, inspections and verifications come solely from Cocina Verify's team of experienced, certified food safety professionals.

"Food safety isn't about perfection - it's about risk reduction. Cocina Verify's mission is to increase consumers' trust and confidence in their dining experiences abroad. We help travelers make more educated decisions about where to dine based on which restaurants have passed stringent food safety trainings and inspections."

- Allan Daly, CEO and Founder, Cocina Verify™

 

Cocina Verify is a third-party restaurant training and inspection program

Cocina Verify™ is a third-party restaurant training and inspection program that validates that the water in each restaurant is safe to drink; that restaurant employees have received proper food safety training; and that restaurants have passed a minimum of two rigorous inspections each year performed by U.S. based inspectors.

Cocina Verify™ is continually expanding to include new countries and cities into the program. If you don't see your destination, be patient and check back often.

Restaurants that are verified on Cocina Verify will have the following in common:

Safe Water
Safe Water

One of the fundamental necessities in creating and serving safe food is that restaurants must have safe, drinkable water - free of microbiological contaminants - available throughout their facilities.

Safety & Inspections
Safety & Inspections

All restaurants must pass a minimum of two inspections per year that are based on the U.S. FDA Food Code. These inspections are performed by vetted, third-party inspectors from the United States.

Restaurant Employee Training
Restaurant Employee Training

All restaurant employees that handle or serve food will possess an internationally recognized food safety training certification.

Cocina Verify™ showcases these restaurants, along with their individual stories, so tourists and business travelers can make informed decisions regarding which restaurants have taken positive, third-party verified steps to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it possible to guarantee a 100% food safe dining experience?

    Nowhere in the world can guarantee a 100% food safe dining experience. Food safety is based upon the level of risk to the public. It is Cocina Verify's goal to reduce the level of foodborne illness risk by educating the public about which overseas restaurants care about - and have been trained in - food safety protocols. Consumers can now see which restaurants have been listed on the Cocina Verify™ website, and use that information to make more informed decisions about where to eat and which restaurants to avoid.

  • How does Cocina Verify™ work?

    Restaurants that choose to participate in and pass Cocina Verify™ requirements will have the following in common: WATER QUALITY TESTS Each restaurant must pass a minimum of one water quality test adhering to U.S. EPA standards for microbiological contaminants. FOOD SAFETY TRAINING Restaurant employees must pass an internationally recognized food safety-training course. SAFETY & INSPECTIONS Restaurants must pass a minimum of two, third-party restaurant inspections per year. These inspections are performed by vetted food safety inspectors from the United States and are based off of the U.S. FDA Food Code. WEBSITE VALIDATION The Cocina Verify™ website serves as the definitive source to validate the restaurants that are currently active and participating in the program. If the restaurant claims to be Cocina Verify™ listed, but is not on the website, they are not currently participating in the program.

  • Who are the inspectors?

    Cocina Verify™ has identified several third party food inspection companies that compete for the opportunity to inspect restaurants that have applied for Cocina Verify™ listing. All inspector credentials have been verified before they are allowed to participate in the inspection bidding process.

  • Why do so many people get sick when traveling to countries outside of North America and Western Europe?

    The Centers for Disease Control states that "Poor hygiene practices in local restaurants is likely the largest contributor to the risk for Traveler's Diarrhea... Attack rates range from 30% to 70% of travelers, depending on the destination and season of travel." Connor, Bradley, A. Traveler's Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.

  • Isn't Traveler's Diarrhea just from eating food that my body is not used to having?

    No, most cases of Traveler's Diarrhea come from bacteria, such as strains of E. Coli, Campylobacter, and others. These bacteria are normally found in the digestive tracts of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Poor hygiene practices by food handlers/preparers is one of the main causes of Traveler's Diarrhea. It's not pretty, but if you get traveler's diarrhea it means you have ingested small pieces of feces from someone who is preparing or handling your food.

  • Does Cocina Verify double-check the inspectors' work for further validation?

    Yes, restaurants are aware that Cocina Verify™ may send a different inspector for an additional inspection at anytime during the contract period to ensure the restaurant maintains its compliance with the Cocina Verify™ program requirements.

  • Do the restaurants pay Cocina Verify to be listed on the website?

    Cocina Verify™ is not paid by the restaurants in order to be listed on the website. Through Cocina Verify™, the restaurants pay for the inspections themselves. If they do not pass the water test, inspections, or employee trainings, they are not listed on the Cocina Verify™ website.

  • Why are there no reviews on your website?

    When it comes to food safety and foodborne illness, peer reviews offer consumers' opinions, but do not provide readers with any trustworthy/validated information. Cocina Verify™ uses industry experts from the United States to validate that food safety and water quality standards are being met in each of the restaurants listed on CocinaVerify.com. Choose Cocina Verify™ restaurants and choose One Standard for Food Safety!