The Centers for Disease Control estimates 76 million food born diseases occur in our country each year, causing approximately 5,000 deaths but you can rest knowing that new certifications are being required for your local food establishments to ensure your safety when dining out.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2007, the Barren River Health Department will require at least one certified food manager to be on staff at all food service establishments.
Food establishments include any place that serves food regularly such as schools, nursing homes, hospitals and of course restaurants.
One local restaurant owner has an optimistic outlook on the new requirement.
“This is a good thing. It makes us more professional, it also makes our employees really look at things better, so I am very positive on it,” The certification is a five-hour course with a final exam.
“I think there will be a subtle change. Basically the employees are going to be more informed with someone there watching everything and being able to make sure all the food safety guidelines are followed,”
There is a $50 fee for the class but once certification is completed it is good for three years.
“I think it’s something that needs a lot of training and a lot of experience so I think it’s really positive,”
Establishments located within Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Simpson and Warren Counties that do not comply with the new requirement by Jan. 1, will face fines of up to $100 per day.
Establishments can submit previous course outlines of other certifications to the health department to seek approval.
To register for a class you can contact Sherry Poland at the Barren River District Health Department at 270-781-8039. You can also log onto barren-river-health.org to review regulation information.