Health and Family Services Cabinet
Food Code Changes Take Effect in May
Public Health Continues to Work with Business Community to Prepare
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) continues to work with the state’s food industry to bring proprietors up-to-date on newly adopted food safety regulations that take effect in May.
DPH is in the process of conducting regional trainings for local health departments to educate food inspectors about changes to the code. The Kentucky Association of Milk, Food and Environmental Sanitarians also will host industry training on the new food code at its annual meeting on Feb. 16.
“We want to make sure all stakeholders are aware and fully understand the changes to our state’s food code before they take effect in May,” said DPH Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. “We also want the public to know the intent of these changes – to strengthen the code regulating food safety and, ultimately, improve health and safety conditions of our restaurants, grocers and food suppliers across the state.”
DPH conducted a series of trainings throughout January and has worked closely with the Kentucky Grocers Association, the Kentucky Retail Federation and the Kentucky Restaurant Association to ensure they are aware of amendments to the food code.
“As environmental health professionals, our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of the citizens of Kentucky,” said Guy Delius, director of the division of public health protection and safety. “An important piece of our work is making sure that industry leaders fully understand and can implement policies that adhere to our health and safety standards.”
The regulations governing the state’s food code were amended last year, but do not take effect until May 2010 to allow for awareness, education and training of the state’s food industry. The Kentucky Food Establishment Act and State Retail Food Code regulation, which governs food regulations across the Commonwealth, had not been substantially revised since 1976. The new version of the administrative regulation adopts changes made in 2005 to the federal food code, putting Kentucky in line with national standards.
Among other improvements, the new code requires that businesses and facilities employ someone who has knowledge of food safety and its relationship to foodborne illness. The changes also require that permit holders take responsibility to exclude or restrict ill workers with communicable diseases such as norovirus, E. coli, salmonella or Hepatitis A.
Other significant changes require that cold food be stored at 41 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 45 degrees (business owners will have five years to upgrade equipment); and the use of consumer advisories regarding the consumption of animal foods that are raw, undercooked or not otherwise processed to eliminate pathogens.
DPH worked collaboratively with the Food Safety-Defense Task Force on the adoption of the federal food code. Task force members included the Kentucky Restaurant Association, the Kentucky Retail Federation, local health departments, DPH food safety branch regulatory officials and representatives from industry and academia.
Business owners are advised to familiarize themselves with the code to assure they will be in compliance by May.
To read the amended code, visit http://www.lrc.ky.gov/kar/902/045/005.htm The 2005 federal Food and Drug Administration Food Code can be found at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/foodcode.html.