The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is working to make the general public and business community aware of new changes to the state's food code which will improve safety and health standards for food storage, preparation and serving.
To prepare for upcoming changes, which will take effect in July, DPH
conducted regional trainings for local health departments to educate
food inspectors. Additionally, DPH has worked closely with
businesses, organizations and associations, such as the Kentucky
Restaurant Association, the Kentucky Retail Federation, Kentucky
Association of Milk, Food and Environmental Sanitarians, and others
to make sure industry officials and employees are prepared to
Educating the food industry and local health department staff about
these upcoming changes has been a top priority for our public health
food safety staff," said Dr. Jeff Howard, DPH Commissioner. "We are
extremely pleased these new regulations will take effect this summer,
but know that public education and awareness are important as we
continue our work to ensure the safety of the public's food supply."
The new code requires businesses and facilities employ at least one
certified food protection manager. This individual will have
supervisory responsibility and must obtain food protection manager
certification. The new code also adds nontyphoidal salmonella to the
existing list of reportable illnesses.
Other changes include updates to the definition of hazardous foods.
The term "potentially hazardous food" was changed to "Time/
Temperature Control for Safety Foods" or "TCS" to better reflect the
nature of the food. In addition, cut melons and cut leafy greens have
been added to the list of foods requiring TCS.
The state food code is a model for safeguarding public health and
ensuring food is sanitary and honestly presented when offered to the
consumer. It represents DPH's guidelines for best practices in
delivering a uniform system of provisions that address the safety and
protection of food offered at retail and in food service. Kentucky's
amended code follows national standards designed by the federal Food
and Drug Administration (FDA).
"As environmental health professionals, our top priority is ensuring
the health and safety of the citizens of Kentucky," said Rebecca
Gillis, director of the division of public health protection and
safety. "An important piece of our work is making sure that industry
leaders fully understand and can implement policies that adhere to
our health and safety standards."
The DPH Food Safety Branch provides training and information to
industry and consumers and issues permits to establishments that meet
minimum compliance standards. Local health departments are authorized
to carry out the food safety program in the counties and districts
they serve. Every county or district has a certified retail food
specialist and all food inspectors are registered sanitarians.
Business owners are advised to familiarize themselves with the code
to assure they will be in compliance.
For more information, the amended Kentucky food code can be found at
Additional information is available at http://chfs.ky.gov.