Local Restaurants Must Adhere to New North Carolina Food Laws
Laws pertaining to restaurants are in place to help avoid food-borne illnesses, like noroviruses and salmonella.
Local Cumberland County diners may find comfort in the fact that North Carolina has instituted new state food rules that went into effect on Sept. 1, 2012.
Under the new rules, restaurant employees must avoid handling ready-to-eat food with bare hands and all restaurants must have a certified food protection manager during all hours of operation. Restaurant owners must also implement policies to ensure that ill employees who have potential to contaminate food will not be involved in the preparation or serving of food.
"Our county Department of Public Health staff works closely with local eating establishments to promote safe food handling practices," stated Buck Wilson, director of the Cumberland County Department of Public Health in a press release. "These new rules allow us to keep up with changes in food preparation techniques, while keeping public health and safety in mind."
The new rules are the most comprehensive change in North Carolina's food protection standards in over 30 years. Larry Michael of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health states, "Restaurant owners know that safe food is good business. By working together to implement these changes, we can reduce our incidence of food-borne illness across the state."
Under the new food code restaurant rating systems will also be changing. Restaurants will no longer earn bonuses for completing voluntary food safety training because certification will be required from the start. Consumers may also notice that local food trucks and pushcarts will also be subjected to new food code rules and will be required to post sanitation rating cards.
Consumers interested in viewing the new code may visit the North Carolina Public Health website online.