The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, Division of Hotels and Restaurants (DBPR) is now in the process of adopting the latest version of the US FDA Food Code. Before this new version, the 2009 edition, becomes law, DBPR must complete a legally-prescribed rulemaking process that takes several months. The 2009 Food Code standards are expected to become law later this year, and Florida hospitality businesses should plan now to ensure compliance.
While the 2009 Food Code includes scores of changes, many are technical and of little impact. Several, however, require advance planning and operational changes. Included among these are:
- Allergen awareness is required of all DBPR-licensed food service establishment employees and managers.
- The previous violation classification terms, “critical” and “non-critical,” will be replaced with a new three term system.
- Risk designations for inspection violations have been developed. These will be based on relevance to the food code.
- Cut leafy greens will be a “temperature control for safety” (TCS) food.
- Ozone is permitted as a produce sanitizer.
- On premise reduced-oxygen packaging will now require prior DBPR approval, including a variance and HACCP plan.
- Mechanically tenderized meat must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 155 F0 for 15 seconds.
- A new process is prescribed for “non-continuous cooking” menu items.
- Children’s menu items may not be undercooked, i.e., no rare or medium rare items.
- Preset tableware will be permitted, when a specific procedure is followed.
- Sanitizing requirements for chlorine and iodine have been modified.
- Disposal of used mop water and other liquid waste is restricted to mop sinks and similar receptacles to prevent food contact surface contamination.
The change requiring the most preparation is the allergen awareness requirement. FRLA now offers a special Allergen Information Poster to begin training staff now. Contact the FRLA Education and Training Department at 866-372-7233 to order your supply today.
For more information about the 2009 FDA Food Code, or any food safety regulatory question, contact FRLA Vice President Geoff Luebkemann at firstname.lastname@example.org.