For the first time since 1999, the Minnesota Food Code may be changing. The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture complied a 258 page document proposing changes to the Minnesota Food Code.
If the changes pass, 2019 will see new and improved health standards in the Minnesota food service industry. Realistically, the food industry has changed drastically since the Minnesota Food Code was passed and it’s time the regulations reflect the adapting industry. The goal for the changes is to emphasize food sanitation and safety measures that will help prevent food-borne illness.
Other changes offer stricter guidelines than the previous code. One proposed change would ban bare hand contact with foods that don’t receive further cooking, such as salad green or pre-cooked proteins, which will help cut down on contamination that leads to sickness.
Another proposed change would enact stricter safety requirements for food operations in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities or daycare’s, which feature populations who are highly susceptible to illness.
Many of the changes are in regards to food labeling. One proposed change would require food labeling for retail food establishments. Another change dictates that food must be properly and clearly labeled with dates to monitor and limit refrigeration time. It also states that the date should include the date the food must be consumed.
Several of the changes are directed at mobile restaurants like food trucks. The previous Food Code didn’t include special requirements for such food distribution. The laws will make operating a restaurant more simple on the back end but safer for the consumers. For a list of proposed changes that people are most concerned about visit http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/food/code/2009revision/20qstnchge.pdf.
The changes to the Minnesota Food Code are currently under review but most can agree that the reform will be helpful for customers and owners alike.