New rules for food prep at restaurants start
Implementation of the new rules marks the biggest change to North Carolina food safety regulations in 30 years, according to the North Carolina Consumers Council.
Restaurants will still receive grades from county health inspectors, but the bonus points awarded for completing a food safety class are being done away with completely.
Eateries will now be required to have a certified food protection manager on site during all open business hours.
Mobile vendors, such as food trucks and street carts, will also be required to have grade cards posted.
The changes also include new rules for food preparation, according to the council.
Workers will be required to wear gloves or handle food with tongs or paper in an effort to prevent the spread of diseases.
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.
Additionally, the current rule prohibiting undercooked meat has been overturned, which means restaurant patrons will now be able to order rare hamburgers and steaks.
Restaurants will be allowed to serve undercooked or raw foods provided they warn customers that eating them can increase the chance of contracting a foodborne illness, such as salmonella.
More information on the rule changes is available from county health inspectors.
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