Foodservice Facilities consist of Restaurants, Food Stands, Meat Markets, Mobile Food Units, Push Carts, Catered Elderly Nutrition Sites, School Lunchrooms, Temporary Food Stands, and Kitchen Facilities.
North Carolina adopted new food rules on September 1, 2012. The new food code represents the most comprehensive change in North Carolina’s food protection standards in more than 30 years. The new food code establishes practical, science-based rules and provisions to help avoid food-borne illnesses, like noroviruses and salmonella.
“Restaurant owners know that safe food is good business,” said Larry Michael of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health. “By working together to implement these changes, we can reduce our incidence of foodborne illness across the state.”
Under the new rules, employees must avoid handling ready-to-eat food with their bare hands and all restaurants must have a certified food protection manager on duty during hours of operation. Restaurant owners also must establish employee health policies to ensure that an ill employee who has the potential to contaminate food is not involved in the preparation or serving of food.
Restaurant rating systems also changed under the new food code. Although sanitation rating cards showing the grade and score continue to be posted in restaurants, restaurants no longer earn bonus points for completing voluntary food safety training since certification is now required.
Local food trucks and pushcarts are also subject to new food code rules and are required to post sanitation ratings.
Key Provisions of the new North Carolina Food Code:
- Each food establishment is required to demonstrate knowledge of food protection by passing an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited exam. This requirement will be phased in and become effective January 1, 2014.
- Each food establishment is required to develop and adhere to an Employee Health Policy to prevent and control the transmission of illnesses.
- Food establishments are required to refrain from handling exposed, ready-to-eat foods with bare hands.
- Food establishments are required to decrease the temperature of refrigerated foods and must date-mark opened, ready-to-eat foods.