North Carolina state legislators are considering changes to overhaul aging food safety standards in the state. The current safety standards were implemented more than thirty-five years ago.
NCCC applauds the move, which is aimed at increasing food safety and overhauling an antiquated system. Times have changed, but our standards have not.
"Food safety issues are a lot different today than they were in the seventies," says NCCC President Sandra Bullock. "It's amazing when I think about what restaurant workers can do with the food coming to my table. These changes are certainly long overdue."
Under the proposed rules, food service workers will no longer be able to handle ready-to-eat food with their bare hands.
"Even if people wash their hands, there are still viruses and bacteria present," continues Bullock. "We have to wash our hands for at least twenty seconds. I don't see people doing that nor do I see people scrubbing under their fingernails. There are a few establishments that I make a habit of frequenting because I can plainly see the employees using gloves."
Restaurants will no longer be able to claim bonus points by having its employees complete a two-day food safety course.
"Bonus points are completely pointless," says NCCC Vice President Brian Reitter. "The points have absolutely nothing to do with food safety and can mislead consumers into believing a restaurant has a better grade than it actually does. Why should a restaurant be allowed to get extra credit simply for sending its employees to a class? Obviously, if a restaurant is doing poorly with its sanitation score, the class didn't do much good."