Friday, July 3, 2015

2015 Update to the 2013 Food Code

Every four years, the FDA reissues the new version of the food code, and two years after, revisions are made. The FDA just released it’s 2015 update to the 2013 US Food Code. In the news release, the FDA issued these bullet points summarizing the changes:
  • Expand the duties of the Person in Charge in a food establishment to include overseeing the routine monitoring of food temperatures during hot and cold holding.
  • Expand and clarify the type of information that should be included when a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Plan is required by a regulatory authority.
  • Emphasize that cleaning and sanitizing agents should be provided and available for use during all hours of operation.
  • Clarify the difference between Typhoid Fever and nontyphoidal Salmonellosis with regard to the reporting of illness and the exclusion and restriction of ill food employees.
  • Suggest that regulatory authorities ensure that inspection staff has access to the necessary training and continuing education.
So the regulatory-review minions took a look to see if any of these updates will have an impact.
In the end, there is no major changes, but more clarifications.  Listed below are the key points.

The FDA document listing all changes can be found here, starting on page 13 -
Section 2-201.11
 Duties were added to those designated to the person in charge. While these may have been assumed to be under that person’s responsibilities, now it is in writing. The implications is that the person with certification…the person in charge, would be responsible for on-going safety during operation, including for monitoring of temperatures, sanitizing of services, avoiding bare hand contact with RTE food, reporting of health issues. 
(I) EMPLOYEES are properly maintaining the temperatures of TIME/TEMPERATURE CONTROL FOR SAFETY FOODS during hot and cold holding through daily oversight of the EMPLOYEES’ routine monitoring of FOOD temperatures; Pf

J) CONSUMERS who order raw or partially cooked READY-TO-EAT FOODS of animal origin are informed as specified under § 3-603.11 that the FOOD is not cooked sufficiently to ensure its safety; Pf

K) EMPLOYEES are properly SANITIZING cleaned multiuse EQUIPMENT and UTENSILS before they are reused, through routine monitoring of solution temperature and exposure time for hot water SANITIZING, and chemical concentration, pH, temperature, and exposure time for chemical SANITIZING; Pf

(L) CONSUMERS are notified that clean TABLEWARE is to be used when they return to self-service areas such as salad bars and buffets as specified under § 3-304.16; Pf

(M) Except when APPROVAL is obtained from the REGULATORY AUTHORITY as specified in ¶ 3-301.11(E), EMPLOYEES are preventing cross-contamination of READY-TO-EAT FOOD with bare hands by properly using suitable UTENSILS such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing EQUIPMENT; Pf

(N) EMPLOYEES are properly trained in FOOD safety, including FOOD allergy awareness, as it relates to their assigned duties; Pf

(O) FOOD EMPLOYEES and CONDITIONAL EMPLOYEES are informed in a verifiable manner of their responsibility to report in accordance with LAW, to the PERSON IN CHARGE, information about their health and activities as they relate to diseases that are transmissible through FOOD, as specified under ¶ 2-201.11(A); Pf and

(P) Written procedures and plans, where specified by this Code and as developed by the FOOD ESTABLISHMENT, are maintained and implemented as required. Pf
Section 201.13
 Changes were made in this section to further differentiate Salmonella Typhi and nontyphoidal Salmonella. Now, they designate Typhoid Fever (Salmonella Typhoid) as the reportable illness and call the regular strains of Salmonella as Salmonella (nontyphoidal) instead of nontyphoidal Salmonella. This will help in the education since there is a distinct difference in the types of illnesses each cause. While we do not see many cases of Typhoid Fever, it is a much more serious illness than your garden strains of Salmonella.
Section 4-303.11
This addition makes sure that cleaning chemicals are available during all hours of the operation.

4-303.11-Cleaning Agents and Sanitizers, Availability
(A) Cleaning agents that are used to clean EQUIPMENT and UTENSILS as specified under Part 4-6, shall be provided and available for use during all hours of operation

(B) (B) Except for those that are generated on-site at the time of use, chemical SANITIZERS that are used to sanitize EQUIPMENT and UTENSILS as specified under Part 4-7, shall be provided and available for use during all hours of operation.
Section 8-201.14
This section titled Contents of a HACCP Plan was updated to list the items needed as part of a HACCP plan for a retail establishment.

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